The most powerful woman in Mexico carries $5,000 Hermes purses and can make or break a presidency.
She's head of the nation's principal teachers union, the largest syndicate in Latin America, and once gave Hummers as gifts to loyal teachers.
Elba Esther Gordillo commands the patronage of more than 1.5 million teachers, and in election years, that means more than 1.5 million votes. Almost every political party courts her...
Then-President Carlos Salinas de Gortari anointed Gordillo in 1989 as president of the National Syndicate of Education Workers, or SNTE, after she'd spent years as a tireless and fiercely loyal climber in the party and the union.
In 2007, at a closed-door meeting protected by private guards, the union leadership purportedly made Gordillo "president for life." A dissident group of unionized teachers has been threatening ever since to denounce her to the International Labor Organization for abuse of office.
Nothing fishy here. Let's see if we can find something juicy in another part of the article:
Her union has not had to open its books to the public; its finances, including Gordillo's salary, are kept private. However, there are growing demands by critics and some politicians that the organization undergo an audit. Gordillo said that she'd be happy to have the finances inspected, one day, but that she won't do so under pressure.
Why should they? After all, shouldn't anyone be able to carry a $5,000 Hermes handbag without scrutiny?
Hat tip to Larry Sand of the California Teachers Empowerment Network for the link.