Former Union Leader Dies in Northern Mexico

PemexABC News, 11/11/2013

Joaquin Hernandez Galicia, the once-feared boss of Mexico’s powerful oil workers union, died Monday at age 91, his sons said. Hernandez died after spending several days in a hospital in the northern city of Tampico for stomach problems, said his son Juan Manuel Hernandez Correa.

Hernandez spent nearly nine years in prison after troops stormed his home and arrested him on manslaughter and weapons charges in 1989 in what the government described as a crackdown on corruption. Hernandez was an old-style labor leader who became one of Mexico’s most powerful and wealthiest men through patronage and strong-arm tactics.But he ran afoul of newly elected President Carlos Salinas de Gortari. Hernandez’s arrest was seen as bolstering the new president’s power, but Amnesty International considered him a political prisoner.

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Pemex “lends” 500 million pesos to oil workers’ union (Spanish)

PemexReforma, 2/14/2013

Pemex recently allowed the Oil Workers Union of Mexico, headed by Carlos Romero Deschamps, to borrow 500 million pesos to be paid back in ten years at no interest.

Although Pemex wished to maintain this information secret until January 2021, REFORMA acquired Union Administrative Council document 10614 which describes that the resources were handed to the organization on December 8th, 2011 for the purpose of “building houses.”

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Mexico’s ‘eternal’ labor leaders survive reform

Business Week, 10/23/2012


Labor activists said Monday that the re-election of Mexico’s two most powerful union bosses throws into doubt whether the country can really democratize its autocratic, corrupt union groups, as the government has proposed.

The heads of the Oil Workers Union, Carlos Romero Deschamps, and of Mexico’s largest teachers’ union, Elba Esther Gordillo, were elected to new six-year terms over the weekend. Both have held the tops spots in their unions since the early 1990s.

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