There’s nothing extraordinary about nepotism in government, according to a lawmaker in Veracruz.
After it was revealed that he had obtained a state Congress job for his son, Deputy José Magdaleno Rosales of the Morena party told reporters that many former and current lawmakers have done the same.
“This has always been done, not just now [but also] in previous governments,” he said.
Rosales said his son is employed as his chauffeur and delivery driver and receives a monthly salary of 15,000 pesos (just over US $700), more than 40% higher than the average wage of university graduates.
Probed about his son’s education, Rosales admitted that he had only completed primary school. The deputy said that he had never denied that his son was on the Congress payroll before providing a commitment that he would remove him from his position.
In a video posted to social media, Rosales said that Aldo Valero, the head of the social communication department of the Veracruz Congress, had leaked information about his son’s employment and claimed that it was part of internal pressure to which he is subjected.
He said the communication department demands payments of up to 10,000 pesos from Morena lawmakers in exchange for disseminating information about their legislative activities via official channels.
Rosales called on Congress president Juan Javier Gómez Cavarín, also a Morena party deputy, to dismiss Valero for seeking bribes.
“I didn’t want to give them [money] because … they [the social communication department employees] have a salary but they ask for money from deputies. … The fact that I don’t appear on the Congress website is because this young man [Valero] doesn’t want to disseminate my [political] activities,” he said.
Meanwhile, in light of the revelation of Rosales’ son’s employment, Deputy Rodrigo García Escalante presented a proposal to Congress that seeks to classify nepotism as a serious crime. He said that lawmakers found guilty of nepotism should be disqualified from public office for a period of five to 10 years.
García also called for a congressional investigation into Rosales’ hiring of his son. The Morena party to which the latter lawmaker belongs was founded by President López Obrador, who has pledged to rid Mexico of government corruption including cronyism and nepotism.