Lets talk about Rosario Robles, seen here cosplaying Sarah Palin
She’s a Mexican economist and politician, in her CV you’ll find decades of work both in Mexico City and the Federal Government, excelency prizes, colaboration with NGOs and unions, everything. She’s a fantastic person! Oh, and that’s not it!
When Cuauhtemoc Cardenas ran for Presdient in 2000, she was next in line to head Mexico City’s government. for a brief period of 14 months she headed the government, earning the title of the first female Mayor. Even with this short tenure Robles oversaw the implementation of the first abortion law in Mexico City which allowed abortions for rape victims. It might seem insignifcant nowadays, but it might’ve been the precursor to the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy law of 2008.
After a short hiatus in public life, she returned to government in 2012 to head the Secretariat of Social Development (SEDESOL) for Peña Nieto’s government. After the 2015 midterms she was transfered to Agrarian, Territorial, and Urban Devlopment (SEDATU). All in, during her six year tenure in Peña Nieto’s government she heade the two agencies that were key to reducing extreme poverty by two million people; an historic figure and a historic achievement.
She is truly a dedicated bad ass, which is why I’m so sad to say that she’s being investigated, alongside her key staffers, by the Federal Auditory (ASF) for a thirty five million dollar fraud involving Social Development AND agrarian, territorial, and Urban development.
Obviously this isn’t new, she has been under investigation since April. However, our nosey Presdient Elect decided to go in and anger literally everyone by saying that the investigations are a political witch hunt meant to distract us from other things.
Where there’s money, there’s trouble and Robles wasn’t even new to controversy anyway: During her short tenure as Mayor she was also accused of using an unnecesary amout of public funding to promote Cardenas’ Presidential bid, and it set off a tradition of using a lot of the city’s money on political propaganda that every Mayor since has honoured. Cardenas, Obrador, and Robles have a lot in common too anyway, they were founding members of PRD, and all of them had their real political roots in Mexico City’s government. Robles even headed PRD after her time as Mayor, she then disapeared of public eye in 2003 just to return to public life in Peña Nieto’s administration... and no longer in PRD’s registry.
Although the Federal authorities behind the investigation have been accused of being suspiciously slow to investigate politicians, Roble’s misdoings were originally reported by Animal Politico’s prize winning investigation “La Estafa Maestra.” It detailed that during Roble’s tenure in both agencies billions of pesos of funding to poverty aid went right back to the pockets of politicians and school deans. Why school deans? Well, the federal agencies gave millions of pesos of contracts to local and state universities to fulfill, basically using the universities as money launderers, and the universities basically turned over, did nothing, and took a cut. Almost half a billion dollars were missplaced from the government thanks to this.... and sadly, it was mostly funding to help the poor.
Also, sadly, it is no coincidence federal authorities took such a long time to carry out those investigations, Robles left SEDESOL in 2015 for Jose Antonio Meade to replace her. Meade, of course, was PRI’s presidential hopeful, and this strategic cabinet switchup in 2015 was widely seen as a way to comb PRI’s possible candidates for the 2018 elections. Robles originally addressed the accusations by saying it was a smeare campaign to tarnish Meade’s reputation during the elections and that the contracts that she personally signed were completed by the respective universities.
Obrador’s comment sparked outrage by members of PAN, PRD and even Senators of his own *new* party, MRN, claiming that getting away with that sort of corruption is unthinkable. Boy I really hope that those strong positions don’t come back to bite them. The new members of congress have said that the investigations againts Robles will continue, but it has been speculated in the media, wildly and without much evidence, that Peña Nieto or Obrador will use Presidential Pardons to rid her of her troubles.... Which is quite a way to end or begin a Presidency.