U.S. property holdings lead to top Veracruz police official’s resignation
A senior Mexican police official has been forced to resign after investigative journalists revealed that he and his wife had built up a property empire incompatible with his humble public-sector salary.
Arturo Bermúdez Zurita, the public security secretary of the violence-wracked state of Veracruz, stood down on Thursday Aug. 4 after reports emerged that he and his wife had purchased a string of properties in Texas worth millions of dollars.
His resignation is a rarity in a country where public officials often accumulate fabulous personal wealth, yet accusations of wrongdoing rarely bring serious consequences.
But analysts say that Bermúdez’s fate may have less to do with serious attempts to tackle Mexico’s entrenched corruption than with shifting political winds following recent regional elections in which the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party (PRI) lost power in Veracruz and six other states.
Bermúdez resigned after the online news outlet Aristegui Noticias revealed that he and his wife had purchased five properties in suburban Houston with a combined value of $2.4m USD – even though he made a mere 59,500 pesos a month ($3,200 USD), according to government transparency records.
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