There were high expectations for a federal offensive against corruption in 2013 when authorities arrested the powerful head of Latin America’s biggest trade union.
The case against Elba Esther Gordillo was “solid,” said the attorney general at the time.
Last August, the former president of the SNTE union was freed from jail after a court deemed that evidence of money laundering and organized crime was insufficient.
The “solid” case now appears to have been a sham to portray the new government of Enrique Peña Nieto as being tough on corruption.
Elba Esther Gordillo, widely known as “La Maestra” (The Teacher), announced a return to public life: she will seek to regain the presidency of the SNTE, a post she held for 24 years until her arrest.
An outspoken figure in the teachers’ union and Mexican politics for half a century, the 74-year-old criticized teachers during a meeting in Cholula, Puebla two weeks ago, for not having taken a position on the new government’s education reform.
And on April 20th, the General Prosecutor of the Republic (FGR) officially issued the decision to return Elba Esther Gordillo assets seized in February 2013, including seven bank accounts, three properties in Mexico City (a penthouse in Polanco, a property in Club de Golf Lomas de Santa Fe and a warehouse in Colonia 20 de Noviembre), a batch of books, works of art and three vehicles, among which is a Chrysler Desoto, model 1936, according to the newspaper Reforma.
The ruling in favor of injunction number 858/2018 was handed down on April 2 by federal judge Antonio González, an appeal filed by Gordillo’s lawyer, Marco Antonio del Toro, according to the newspaper.
According to the lawyer’s statements, after Gordillo was acquitted by the authorities, the defense filed “by means of an injunction, the cancellation of the seizure of assets for the inexistence of crime, which turned out to be favorable.”
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