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June 17, 2012 12:00 AM

Union boss Elba Esther Gordillo keeps a stranglehold on Mexico's schools

Experts looking for someone to blame for the poor state of Mexico's education system often latch on Elba Esther Gordillo, the 67-year-old president for life of Mexico's teachers union. Routinely ranked as the least popular of the nation's most prominent figures, she's amassed a huge personal fortune and so much political influence that she is said to walk through the gates of the presidential residence any time she wants.

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