News
Harsh words from the bishop of Saltillo. Harsh words from the bishop of Saltillo.

‘They must have been on drugs,’ says bishop

Coahuila prelate heaps scorn on proposal to get ex-governor Moreira back in politics

A political party that has proposed to nominate former state governor Humberto Moreira as mayor of the municipality of Saltillo must have been drugged, suggested a Coahuila bishop yesterday.

As governor of Coahuila from 2005 to 2011, Humberto Moreira aroused suspicion by increasing his state’s debt from US $27 million to $2.8 billion in just five years.

He has been accused of laundering money between Mexico, the U.S. and Spain, as well as using false documents to obtain funds believed to have been used in the governors’ campaigns of five other members of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).

Those accusations were enough for Spanish authorities to arrest Moreira earlier this year, but he was released seven days later for insufficient evidence.

Moreira, whose brother Rubén is the current governor, remained away from the spotlight until earlier this week when the local Partido Joven, or Young Party (PJ), announced it had intended to invite the ex-governor to participate in upcoming elections, either for a position in the state Congress or for mayor of the state’s capital.

The proposal drew harsh words from Saltillo Bishop Raúl Vera López, who described the nomination of Moreira as a “barbarity” in an already tainted political system.

“They must have been drugged for them to say that, as any person with common sense would refrain from repeating such barbarity. We’re still paying the consequences of the embezzlement suffered by the state,” the prelate told the newspaper Milenio in an interview.

“Whatever was promised to these kids?” he asked in reference to party members. “That they’ll get to live among the moon and the stars? I’m not sure if these kids went to school, I don’t know what’s wrong with them. It’s a barbarity,” Vera declared.

In the bishops’s view, little has changed in the Mexican political arena: “Habits remain, we can see that . . . we’ve seen new parties arise with promises of improvement, and they end up doing the very same.”

Today’s political class, he said, is formed along the same lines as those of “the 73-year dictatorship we had with a single political party.”

Not even independent candidates were spared from Vera’s assessment: “Who will independents work with? Independent officials? To keep the system working they’ll have to scoop from within the pigsty that is current politics; there’s just not that much hope for independents.”

Source: Milenio (sp), Proceso (sp)

Reader forum