Yet another embarrassing video in Mexico has cost a major politician his job.
The head of Mexico’s former ruling party, Gustavo Madero, on Wednesday fired Congressman Luis Villarreal from his position as leader of the group’s delegation in the lower House of Deputies.
Madero, of the conservative National Action Party (PAN), which held the national presidency in 2000-2012, said in a statement he was “renewing” the House leadership.
He did not say why. He did not have to.
Villarreal and several other PAN politicians were taped having quite a party in the coastal resort of Puerto Vallarta. There were many drinks and much dancing with, ahem, young-women-not-the-politicians’-wives.
Newspapers identified the women as “sex workers.”
Mexican commentators and others seized on the hypocrisy: The PAN was founded on, and still prides itself for, traditional family values and deep Catholic roots.
“What offends is not so much that they grab the butt of a prostitute,” commentator Salvador Camarena wrote in El Financiero Wednesday. “The shocking thing is that the PAN congressmen don’t even bother to carry out their nonsense with any discretion, and that is because they consider themselves immune to criticism and scrutiny.” [Link in Spanish]
Villarreal did not help his case with his defense. Rather than address what was happening at the fiesta, he lashed out at whoever took the “illegal videos” for “political ends.”
His deputy, Jorge Villalobos, was also at the party and also was removed from the PAN House leadership post.
This year, federal authorities arrested Jesus Reyna, who had served as interim governor of the state of Michoacan and also its number-two position as government minister, after he was caught on tape meeting with fugitive kingpin Servando Gomez Martinez, a.k.a. La Tuta, head of the Knights Templar drug-and-extortion cartel. Reyna remains in prison.
And last month, the son of Michoacan Gov. Fausto Vallejo was imprisoned after a video surfaced showing him also meeting with La Tuta over beers and an apparently friendly chat. Vallejo had resigned a short time before, citing poor health.
The tape of Villarreal, the PAN legislator, was apparently made in January but for reasons not clear not released until now. Villarreal retains his position as congressman and a member of the party.
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