Gordillo, 68, known as “The Teacher”, leader of the massive teachers union of Mexico, was arrested last Tuesday on board of her private jet, and will be tried for money laundering and organized crime.
This woman devoted her career to climb the hierarchy of the teaching union until reaching its leadership and becoming one of Mexico’s more powerful persons (in charge of a union with 1.1 million members, the largest in Latin America), and now she is accused of those crimes by a judge in Mexico City, which has formally issued an arrest warrant against her.
The Prosecutor’s Office claimed that Gordillo coordinated a financial triangulation network, which managed to steal at least 120 million euros from the coffers of the National Union of Education Workers. The Teacher may have misappropriated union funds to pay for exclusive real estate (luxury homes in the United States and Mexico), gourmet shopping in Neiman Marcus department stores and even plastic surgery, among other personal extravagances.
In addition to Gordillo, three alleged partners will be judged as well for the same crimes: Isaias Gallardo Chavez, Jose Manuel Diaz Flores and Nora Guadalupe Ugarte Ramírez.
The imprisoned unionist, by decision of the judge Alejandro Caballero Vértiz, has three days to appeal. An argument that could be used to mitigate Gordillo’s situation is appealing on her diseases that may require medical treatment out of jail. Another option would be to wait for February 2015, when she turns 70, the age set in the Mexican Penal Code to grant house arrest to elderly prisoners.