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Mexico's not so green Green Party

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Mexico's not so green Green Party

Critics accuse leaders of corruption, lavish lifestyles

  • Jorge Emilio Gonzalez, known as the 'Green Boy' meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderón in June 2010.
    Gobierno Federal de MexicoJorge Emilio Gonzalez, known as the 'Green Boy' meets with Mexican President Felipe Calderón in June 2010.

While green parties around the world are known for alternative ethical politics in favor of the environment, Mexico's own green party has gained a rather different reputation.

Following a new scandal over the lavish lifestyles of Mexican green party leaders, critics are accusing them of being political mercenaries with corrupt and cynical policies.

The scandal centers around a luxury apartment complex in the center of the Caribbean resort of Cancún.

According to documents published in Reforma newspaper, Green Party leaders and their families own 15 apartments in the complex, with each apartment valued at about $1.5 million.

The Green Party’s most prominent face, Jorge Emilio Gonzalez, known as the “Green Boy” owns several of these apartments according to the documents. Gonzalez denies the accusations.

It is not the first time that Gonzalez has been ensnared in scandal.

Back in 2004, a video surfaced in which Gonzalez appeared to be shown asking for a multimillion dollar bribe from a developer so he could wave environmental regulations on a hotel.

But in scandal-ridden Mexico, Gonzalez survived the exposure and went on to become a federal deputy.

The Green Party is helped in getting votes by the soap opera good looks of Gonzalez and other candidates – who are almost all under 40.

They have also gained support by supporting the death penalty, a popular tactic in crime-plagued Mexico even if an odd choice for a green party.

Gonzalez also has strange tastes for an environmentalist. Asked in one interview about his favorite car, the Green Boy replied swiftly, “Ferrari.”

This article originally appeared on GlobalPost.

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