El Diario de Coahuila (May 6, 2013)
Translated by un vato for Borderland Beat
One of the most notorious public/private officials in Mexico is Carlos Romero Deschamps, a PRI Senator and also the President of the Pemex Workers' Union. On an official salary of about $2,000.00 a month as union president, Mr. Deschamps, his children and his family have a lifestyle that can conservatively be called luxurious. His daughter, Paulina Romero Deschamps, appeared on Facebook a few months ago describing how she travels all over the world accompanied by her three English bulldogs, Keiko, Boli and Morgancita. They travel on private and commercial airplanes and yachts, and stay in the priciest hotels in Europe and other parts of the world, eating in the best restaurants and drinking wines that cost up to $800.00 per bottle. Her Facebook page shows her posing for photographs and shopping for clothing and accessories (calfskin Birkin bag by Hermes, cost: $12,000.00; limited edition Louis Vuitton Lockit PM Suhali bag, cost: $4,120.00).
Carlos Romero Deschamps' son, Jose Carlos Romero Duran, also lives quite well. A couple of months ago, several newspapers reported that his father gave him a brand new car, an Enzo Ferrari that costs about $2 million. And newspapers, among them Proceso, recently reported that Jose Carlos recently bought two apartments in Miami Beach for $7,550,000.00.
But the benefits enjoyed by Romero Deschamps' other relatives are also impressive. Deschamps was recently elected to his sixth term as president of the Pemex Worker's Union, despite the fact that their own rules do not allow reelection. He was a "plurinominal" candidate for senator, sponsored by EPN and the PRI. This means that his name never appeared on the ballot; rather, he was one of several candidates who were appointed to political office based on the proportion of votes his or her party received in the general election.
One more detail: as a Mexican Senator, he enjoys almost total immunity from prosecution.
-- un vato
Mexico City, Mex.-- According to information from Reforma, relatives of the petroleum syndicate leader, Carlos Romero Deschamps, have positions with Pemex for which they get pay and benefits despite the fact they do no work.
A sister, brothers in law, nephews and even cousins of the union leader have contracts with the state corporation that guarantees them employment until December 31, 2999. In addition, they can bequeath their positions to other relatives in Salamanca, Guanajuato.
Ernesto Prieto, former mayoral candidate in that municipality, and member of the Coalition of Dissident Petroleum Workers, charged that this is happening in the petroleum corporation's plant in Salamanca.
The newspaper Reforma today disclosed an investigation involving the 36 commissioners of Section 24 of the petroleum industry union, where the relatives of the union leader are listed.
The list is for the month of October, 2012, and will remain in effect until 2015, which is the same period that Fernando Pacheco Martinez will serve as Section 24 leader.
According to Prieto -- who has refrained from filing an internal complaint with the union because he does not think it will do any good--, in addition to the relatives who appear in the Salamanca (union) records, the petroleum workers' leader has placed an equal number (of relatives) in the State of Hidalgo.
"All of Carlos Romero Deschamps' family is working for Pemex, they have permanent positions, and there are not just 12 of them; there are more, and they are in Salamanca and in the State of Hidalgo, where Romero Deschamps has a great deal of influence. The majority has more than 10 years' on the job," he charged.
According to Reforma, among the union leader's relatives who have joined the union's Section 24 are his sister Maria Esther Romero Deschamps and his brothers in law, Alvaro Duran Lima and Guadalupe Lidia Duran Lima.
The long list also contains his nephews Armida Deschamps Duran, Victor Hugo Deschamps Lugo, Alvaro Duran Lopez, Victor Deschamps Duran and Ricardo Deschamps Moran.
In the same capacity of commissioners for union duties -- which allows them to perform different functions, even though these may not be defined -- are his cousins Roberto Gonzalez Romero, Nora Estela Deschamps Contreras and Silvia Deschamps Contreras.
Grupo Reforma sought out [Fernando] Pacheco [Martinez], leader of Section 24 of the petroleum syndicate, but he declined to make any comments.
A man who said he was his private secretary stated that [Pacheco] Martinez does not talk to the press.
Union workers at the "Ing. Antonio Manuel Amor" refinery confirmed that the relatives of the union leader are commissioners for jobs that are unknown.
"They have always been commissioned, this isn't recent, they have several years (in the positions), we never see them working, but Romero Deschamps has many opportunities to place his family as commissioners with Pemex, because he's the head of the union," said a worker who had been with Pemex for 16 years and who asked that his name be left out.