Sunday - Apr 21, 2019

Mexican PRI politician living very well in Spain after scandal

by the El Reportero’s wire services

Humberto MoreiraHumberto Moreira

A former Coahuila Gov. and Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, chairman is living in an upscale community outside the northeastern Spanish city of Barcelona and paying monthly rent of 3,500 euros (about $4,580), the Mexican press reported Monday.

Humberto Moreira is living in a six-room house that has a two-level library, indoor swimming pool and six bathrooms, the Reforma newspaper reported.

Moreira told the daily that he was paying for the property with the salary he draws as a teacher and savings.

The PRI politician, who has been a teacher for 27 years, said in an interview with Reforma that he was enrolled at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, or UAB, and working toward a master’s degree in communications and education.

Moreira told the newspaper that Mexico’s SNTE teachers union awarded him a scholarship that covers the cost of the program.

Former SNTE president Elba Esther Gordillo was arrested in February on charges that she misappropriated the labor organization’s funds.

Moreira’s classmates describe him as “an approachable and easygoing person, but they acknowledged that he did not party with them because he was a married man with a family,” the newspaper said.

Moreira said he had planned “to get back into politics” in Mexico, but the Oct. 3, 2012, murder of his son, Jose Eduardo, by suspected members of the Los Zetas drug cartel working with corrupt police officers, changed “the compass reading.”

The 25-year-old Jose Eduardo was regional coordinator of social development programs for the violencewracked state of Coahuila.

Moreira is living in Valldoreix, an upscale bedroom community for Sant Cugat del Valles, with his wife and daughters, collecting a salary from the SNTE. Former soccer player Hristo Stoichkov, retired tennis star Alex Corretja and swimmer Gemma Mengual all made Valldoreix their home at one point, Reforma said.

Humberto Moreira, who served as Coahuila’s governor from 2005 to 2011, became PRI chairman after leaving office. He resigned on Dec. 2, 2011, amid a scandal over allegedly improper contracting during his time as governor of that state.

Moreira’s resignation was prompted by statements made a day earlier by then-candidate and now President Enrique Peña Nieto, a member of the PRI, that the controversy over the surge in Coahuila’s public debt had hurt the party.

Peña Nieto took office on Dec. 1, vowing that the PRI was a new party far removed from the legacy of corruption it built while governing Mexico from 1929 to 2000.

Classic Taxis of Havana Now Face Competition From Private Services

Havana’s taxis, most of them vintage American cars that have traditionally shared the service they offer, for the first time in decades face the unusual situation of having to compete for passengers, following a boom in licenses for private cab drivers.

In a city where problems of public transport are chronic, it is strange to see cabs looking for passengers and not the other way around, but the sudden appearance of hundreds of new taxis over the past two years has changed everything.

Licenses for private taxi drivers has allowed some traditional routes to give better service and even some new ones to be opened, but drivers who have been in the business for a long time complain that there is now “a lot of pressure.”

“There’s more competition, so you have to get tough and race to pick up passengers, which makes the work more dangerous,” Pupy, a 52-yearold cabby who drives a 1957 Chrysler, told Efe.

Of the almost 400,000 private licenses registered in the country up to last December, 11 percent are in the field of transport and a large number are concentrated in Havana.

“There are too many cars from whatever province of Cuba working here, and Havana isn’t ready for that, there aren’t the streets or the infrastructure,” Hector, another taxi driver with 15 years’ experience, said.