When the mayor of Cuauhtémoc, Chihuahua, decided to see first-hand how municipal staff were treating social services clients, he was not impressed.
Employees got a shock when a disabled man who had appeared at the city’s social development offices requesting benefits was actually their boss.
Mayor Carlos Tena said that after receiving several complaints about city employees, he decided to dress up as a disabled man to find out for himself if the allegations were true.
“I was planning it for about two months,” he told Milenio. “I decided to do it because I didn’t know who to believe, the citizens or my co-workers.”
As part of the disguise, he wore dark glasses and put a patch over part of his face. When he arrived at the Municipal Palace in a wheelchair to request a benefit, he said, he was ignored and mistreated by the employees, except for one worker who gave him a snack.
Finally, Tena asked to speak to the mayor. When employees told him that the mayor was not available but that he could wait to speak to a secretary, Tena rose from his wheelchair and revealed his true identity.
After his social experiment, Tena called a meeting to express his disappointment with the treatment he had received.
“I’m upset with the people who are working there and are getting paid a salary, that they treat the citizens poorly,” he said. “I made it very clear to them, I told them that I didn’t want to hear about them mistreating someone again.”
The Morena party mayor earned national attention in March when he was arrested by state police for allegedly interfering in an investigation into car theft.