Mexico’s ambassador to Argentina has been recalled after media outlets published a video that shows him shoplifting a US $10 book from a famous bookstore in Buenos Aires.
Óscar Ricardo Valero Recio Becerra was ordered to return to Mexico on Sunday by Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard.
“I have asked the ethics committee to analyze the case of the ambassador in Argentina who is accused of stealing books in a famous bookstore. For now, I have ordered him to return home. If it is proven that the video is true, he will be removed from his position immediately. Zero tolerance for dishonesty,” Ebrard wrote on Twitter.
A security camera at the El Ateneo bookstore in the Argentine capital recorded footage on October 26 of Valero hiding a book inside a newspaper before setting off an alarm as he exited the store.
The ambassador’s possessions were checked by a security guard who found that he had attempted to steal a biography of 18th-century Italian adventurer, author and playboy Giacomo Casanova. The bookstore called the police but Valero was not arrested due to his diplomatic immunity.
The Argentine news website Infobae, the first outlet to publish the video of the ambassador’s shoplifting attempt, said the price of the Casanova biography was the Argentine peso equivalent of 189 Mexican pesos or US $10. In contrast, Valero’s monthly salary is 234,000 pesos (US $12,160).
President López Obrador appointed the 76-year-old as ambassador earlier this year, reviving a diplomatic career that began in 1970.
As a foreign affairs undersecretary in the 1980s, Valero played an important role in the Contadora Group, an initiative launched by Mexico, Colombia, Panama and Venezuela to promote peace in war-stricken Central America.
He served as Mexico’s ambassador to Chile between 2001 and 2004 and also worked for many years as a political science and international relations academic at the National Autonomous University.
Source: Infobae (sp)