Joaquín Hernández Galicia, Leader of Powerful Mexican Union, Dies at 91

Energy -electricity_transmission_linesThe New York Times, 11/16/2013

Joaquín Hernández Galicia, a sometimes brutal Mexican power broker who earned the loyalty of his country’s vast army of oil workers as both their union boss and benevolent patriarch and who was later imprisoned, some say unjustly, died on Monday in Tampico, Mexico. He was 91. His death was reported by news agencies in Mexico.

Mr. Hernández Galicia led a union of 200,000 workers employed by Mexico’s huge state-owned oil company, Pemex, and they revered him for the generous benefits he won for them.

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Mexico’s Arrest of Teachers Union Head Part of a Much Bigger Story

91px-Elba_Esther_GordilloWorld Politics Review, 2/28/2013

Elba Esther Gordillo, the leader of the most powerful teachers union in Mexico, was arrested earlier this week on suspicion of embezzling millions in union funds for personal expenses, including paying for private property and plastic surgery.

The arrest of the Gordillo, known throughout Mexico simply as “La Maestra,” or “The Teacher” and previously seen as being above the law, came a day after Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto signed a sweeping educational reform that the union she led had opposed. …

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Arrest of union boss rivets Mexico

prison cell blockLos Angeles Times, 2/27/2013

The reversal of fortune could not have been more striking. And for many Mexicans, the images, broadcast live on national television Wednesday, could not have been more unexpected.

Here, once again, was Elba Esther Gordillo, the powerful boss of Mexico’s massive, sclerotic teachers union. But instead of the image Mexicans were used to — Gordillo standing in front of adoring followers, defiantly speechifying, dressed to the nines — her famous face was now barely visible through the bars of a Mexico City jail.

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