Wednesday 6 February 2013

The rich life of Romero Deschamps, head of the Oil Workers Union of Mexico

One of the apartments in Miami. A worker's paradise!

It has been said that the fortune amassed by Romero Deschamps, the man who leads Mexico’s powerful Oil Workers Union (Sindicato de Trabajadores Petroleros de la República Mexicana), is “incalculable”. In his twenty plus years at the helm of Mexico’s most powerful union he has acquired exotic cars, condominiums in Cancun, a yacht, expensive watches and, here’s the kicker – a castle in France.

He is surely a magician, given that he has managed this lifestyle on his salary as a machinist of 24, 633 pesos a month (US$ 1,941).

His kids have done pretty well, too, both his jet-setting daughter Paulina and especially his eldest child, the son José Carlos Romero, who lives the high life in Miami.

Documents obtained by the Mexican newspaper Tabasco Hoy (Tabasco Today) have revealed that after José Carlos Romero Duran and his wife Maria Fernanda Garrido Ocejo moved to Miami they founded two real estate companies.

Through the companies the couple bought two luxury apartments in an exclusive building in Miami. The first was acquired January 12, 2005 for US$2,050,000.  Then on March 1, 2006, a second apartment in the same building was purchased for US$5,500,000.

It is not known in which building the younger Romero, 44, keeps his Enzo Ferrari, a gift from his father.

As it stands the elder Romero is in a bit of hot water – but not about his finances, which have been subject to ridicule for years, and which he stick handles with complete impunity. No, this time it is because he was notably absent for days after the Pemex explosion in Mexico City, in which 37 people lost their lives and scores were wounded.

He also has a battle on his hands to keep his leadership. Dissidents within the union say that he has not been properly re-elected, because during the ballot on October 19 last year not all members were present. The situation has been muddled further by the fact that documents that could have been used to bring support to bear on dissident allegations of corruption were in the damaged building.

(TE Wilson is the author of Mezcalero, a Detective Sánchez novel.)

Twitter: @TimothyEWilson
Email: lapoliticaeslapolitica [at] gmail [dot] com

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