HomeFutures and CommoditiesCorruption-tainted Mexican oil union leader, symbolically powerful, dies at 79; legacy dominated...

Corruption-tainted Mexican oil union leader, symbolically powerful, dies at 79; legacy dominated by scandal.

Former Mexican Oil Workers’ Union Leader Carlos Romero Deschamps Dies at 79

Carlos Romero Deschamps, the former leader of Mexico’s oil workers’ union and a prominent politician, passed away at the age of 79, confirmed officials on Friday.

Controversial Figure

Romero Deschamps, a key figure in the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), used his connections to amass significant wealth, which many believed was obtained through illicit means. He played a crucial role as a powerbroker, leveraging his influence within the union.

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Resignation Amidst Corruption Allegations

In late 2019, Romero Deschamps abruptly resigned as the head of the union representing employees of national oil company Pemex. The resignation came after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced that Romero Deschamps was under investigation for corruption. Despite the allegations, Romero Deschamps was never prosecuted.

A Legacy of Union Leadership

Romero Deschamps served four terms as the leader of the more than 100,000-member union, making it one of the largest in Latin America. During his tenure, he claimed to have improved workers’ benefits, including pensions, healthcare, and salaries.

A History of Controversy

Romero Deschamps faced numerous scandals throughout his career. In 2013, Forbes included him on its list of the “10 Most Corrupt Mexicans.” He managed to evade consequences even as other union leaders faced legal repercussions.

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The Pemexgate Scandal

In 2000, Romero Deschamps was accused of diverting 1.5 billion pesos from Pemex accounts to fund a presidential campaign. While an audit revealed anomalies in the scandal, Romero Deschamps escaped punishment while others were fined.

A Lavish Lifestyle

Despite his reported annual salary of only about $23,000, Romero Deschamps and his family led extravagant lives. He owned a million-dollar yacht and a waterfront condo worth over a million dollars. His daughter’s social media posts showcasing luxury trips caused a media frenzy, and his son received a Ferrari Enzo worth more than $1 million.

President’s Condolences

Mexican President Lopez Obrador expressed his condolences to Romero Deschamps’ family during a press conference, emphasizing that no one should wish for anyone’s death.

The passing of Romero Deschamps marks the end of an era for Mexico’s oil workers’ union. His legacy is one of controversy and influence, leaving behind a union that will continue to navigate the challenges of the country’s oil industry.

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