Teacher Union boss arrested on Corruption Charges

Elba Esther Gordillo

Elba Esther Gordillo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not here…in Mexico…but can’t be far off happening here. Nevertheless, anywhere in the world that unions exist, corruption soon follows:

Union head Elba Esther Gordillo, known as Mexico’s most powerful woman, has been arrested on corruption charges.

Ms Gordillo, who runs the 1.5 million-member Mexican teachers’ union, is alleged to have diverted about $200m from union funds to personal accounts.

No-one from her legal team has responded to the allegations, but in the past she has denied any wrongdoing in handling the funds.

The arrest came after major reforms to the education system on Monday. 

President Enrique Pena Nieto signed the sweeping reforms, which seek to change a system dominated by Ms Gordillo in which teaching positions could be sold or inherited.

“We are looking at a case in which the funds of education workers have been illegally misused, for the benefit of several people, among them Elba Esther Gordillo,” Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said.

His office alleges Ms Gordillo, 68, used the money on property, including in the US, private airplanes and plastic surgery.


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  • johnbronkhorst

    “Teacher Union boss arrested on Corruption Charges”…Coming to a school near you….SOON????

    • Jonathan P

      You are all sounding like extreme alarmists. Sure there maybe/probably is corruption in unions as much as their is corruption in politics and business but I don’t see you hammering away at those two. You seem to just want to bring down the group that’s supposed to look after workers (although this has been proved dubious at times, they do work sometimes). Screaming “Coming to a school near you….SOON” is like standing on the main street of Auckland with a sandwich board that says the end is nigh.

  • johnbronkhorst

    or….associated story….”How the PPTA rigs their surveys”?

  • blokeintakapuna

    Birds of a feather…

    The unions are all affiliated with each other, nationally and internationally and support and fund the Labour Party… so why aren’t our respective authorities looking into the missing millions Owl & this Blog have discovered with the MWU accounts and their deliberate obfuscation of their members accounts?

    Maybe the corruption is so entrenched it’s a case of “too deep to dig out”? and the AG and SFO are too scared to lift the lid? Or do they need to be Ordered to do so with an Independant Inquiry, or maybe even a Royal Enquiry – since Labour are by definition bringing the integrity of Paliament into question with their nefarious funding mechanisms.. by entities operating in the shadows who can’t account for millions in lost assets and cash.
    Operating like this is how the mafia and organised crime works… yet the SFO / AG/ GG seem comfortable enough to allow this to continue for year upon year?

    Mexico, Australia… and the antics of NZ’s unions…

    Whiffy, whiffy, whiffy…

    • johnbronkhorst

      They only way to combat this, is Voluntary unionism. Along with a crackdown on the bullying tactics. This is why the unions, collectively, can only claim funds from about 17% of the workforce. Imagine the corruption if labour had got their way and moved us back to compulsory unionism. Now that the last bastion is gone (student unions) where will labour get their next generation of political candidates from?

      • blokeintakapuna

        from the teachers that indoctrinate them…

  • blazer

    nice headline….The ‘Truth’ effect!

  • Jonathan P

    I think you will find anywhere in the world where there is a chance to make easy cash be it unions or business there is a chance of corruption.
    Were used to business corruption so shrug it off but when we hear of union corruption stories it shocks us (well those who don’t already hate unions) because were lead to believe they protect us.

    • Gazzaw

      I can see both sides here and I rarely agree with blazer BUT……….this is a very Brit tabloid style headline. Corruption is endemic at every level in Mexico, present in every government department or ministry & pervades industry. So corruption is rife in their teachers union as well? Well whoopty do. This post at best is drawing a very long bow.

      • Bunswalla

        Excuse me Gaz but this story is from the august organ known universally as the Beeb. The BBC doesn’t indulge in tabloid-style sensationalism and the story is reported in typical sober fashion.

        I disagree that there is widespread corruption in business in NZ and have seen no evidence of this, no doubt Johnny P will provide links and evidence to refresh my memory.

        Unions are setup for the express purpose of protecting the rights and interests of its members. To have the person at the top of the tree systematically rorting the union for $200m is surely the ultimate betrayal. That’s why it’s a story – just like the Takapuna Grammar rowing teacher that stole all their money, it’s the betrayal of trust in such a position that really hurts.

        • Jonathan P

          So the recent spate of financial institutions going belly up with directors and the like siphoning off millions isn’t corruption? They’re businesses are they not.

          I should also add that I’m not suggesting that corruption is wide spread in NZ politics or business but it is present, just as I’m sure its not as rife through unions as its made out to be. Knowing the nature of this forum I don’t expect anyone to agree with me and knowing that the majority here dislike unions will automatically think/feel the unions are corrupt to the core.

        • Gazzaw

          I think you misunderand me Buns. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough. I meant that there is widespread corruption in business in Mexico as there is in government and in every facet of Mexican society. Therefore it hardly surprising that their unions are corrupt as well.

          The headline is not misleading when referring to the Mexican situation but with the continual banging on here about teachers unions the natural inference to draw is that the headline refers to NZ. Therefore it is tabloid style.

          • Jonathan P

            I think he was reply to my comments based on NZ unions and business.

          • Gazzaw

            Thanks Jonathan

          • Bunswalla

            Yes I was, too lazy to do different comments, heh.

            I agree about some of the finance companies that collapsed, and although I wouldn’t necessarily call that corruption, the distinction about which type of despicable crime it’s called, is probably lost on the victims that lost all their dough.

            However they invested their money willingly, and were perhaps blinded by greed and the promise of bigger returns, so they accepted the risk. Union membership is compulsory in Mexico (for teachers at least) and to have someone who on the one hand is supposed to be getting you a better deal, and on the other is stealing money out of your pocket, is pretty galling.

            BTW this forum has always, in my experience, welcomed dissenting views as long as they’re expressed reasonably and clearly. We generally enjoy intelligent debate and respect those prepared to join in. There’s always the nutters of course but I try and ignore them, not always successfully.

          • Gazzaw

            And long may we continue to debate issues Buns. And most importantly enjoy those debates and learn.

          • Bunswalla

            True Gaz, but to be fair the teachers unions in NZ have not exactly covered themselves in glory and this story was begging to be reported here.

          • Gazzaw

            I agree but that is a different issue. My bitch is with the headline. Let’s be honest if it was prefaced with the word ‘Mexican’ would you rush to read the article? No way, I’ll bet your first reaction was to hope like fuck that Cam had uncovered something nasty about the NZEI or the PPTA.

          • Bunswalla

            You mean like the teacher that ordered a hit on her principal, and is still teaching? Or more kiddy-fiddlers including the one that changed their name and got hired by two more schools, and continued to molest kids? Sure the headline was salacious and perhaps mischievous, but no need to call her a bitch :-P

  • Dave

    “Used the money on plastic surgery” Judging by the picture that’s a massive fail!!! I’d be suing the surgeon.

  • BJ

    $200m sounds more like a protection racket than union subs. Imagine that here.