The former teacher’s union boss Elba Esther Gordillo has asked for house arrest in her luxury mansion as she awaits trial for embezzlement.
Citing health reasons, “the Teacher” wants to be transferred from Tepepan Women’s Prison to her four-storey Mexico City home, which is valued at around US$2.5 million and contains a cinema, swimming pools and a cave.
The Attorney General’s Office has written to the federal judge assigned to the case asking him to dismiss the possibility. The office argues that at least one of the medical reports on her health “was unclear.”
The notoriously extravagant Gordillo was arrested in 2013 for diverting union funds. The arrest temporarily bolstered President Enrique Peña Nieto’s reputation and was widely hailed as a victory against impunity.
Yet in a new book, former Foreign Relations Secretary and noted academic Jorge Castañeda defends Gordillo.
“I hope she can transfer to house arrest. She needs to for health reasons,” says Castañeda, who has maintained a close friendship with Gordillo for many years. Speaking of her arrest, Castañeda describes it as “a political judgement,” and argues that if Gordillo were free she could help persuade her union members to accept the new educational reforms.