Mexico’s Controversial Union Leader Of Pemex Steps Down

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 1:03pm
Updated: Friday, October 18, 2019 - 12:08pm
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MEXICO CITY — The leader of one of Mexico’s largest and most powerful unions has just stepped down, as he faces an investigation for money laundering. His resignation could have an effect in the U.S.

For 26 years, former congressman Carlos Romero Deschamps led the worker’s union of Pemex, Mexico’s national oil company. The accusations he faces are part of an international money laundering investigation in Andorra.

“He has been for about 10 years the image of union corruption in public perception,” said Ricardo Alvarado, a researcher from the nonprofit Mexicans Against Corruption.

Alvarado explained the union leader has faced scandals of resource diversion and abuse of power for years.

The expert said this change in the union could benefit Pemex and the new North American trade agreement, known as USMCA.

“It’s because the Mexican relationship with the United States that this took place, and it’s because it’s part of the negotiations of this new commerce deal,” the researcher said.

Alvarado explains the trade deal require unions work democratically and transparently. For him, changes in Pemex’s union leadership could also lead to improvements in Pemex production and standards eventually.

According to Alvarado, the investigation against Romero Deschamps could eventually lead to former President Enrique Peña Nieto as they were close allies, although President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has stated his government will not go after him.

“We need to give time to the López Obrador administration to prove if this is real justice and not a political vendetta,'' Alvarado said.