Head of Mexican teacher's union arrested on fraud charges
POSTED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Thursday, February 28, 2013 - 9:04am
NBC News — The powerful head of Mexico's largest teachers union refused to enter a plea to fraud and embezzlement charges wednesday while lawyers prepared to defend her. Elba Esther Gordillo was arrested this week on suspicion she embezzled $200 million worth of union funds. The arrest happened one day after President Enrique Pena Nieto signed into a law a major education reform measure the union strongly opposed.
Authorities allege that Gordillo used intermediaries to move money to bank accounts in Europe and then to the United States to buy land, art and plastic surgery. Her lawyers said Gordillo would release a statement after the charges are fully established. Gordillo has held a grip on the powerful teachers union and has long been accused of being a roadblock to education reform in Mexico.