A Mexican congressman who — along with his family — spent $8.2 million on South Florida condos should be investigated, the leader of Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies said Monday.
Bernardo Quezada Salas, a former official at Mexico’s powerful and allegedly corrupt teachers’ union, and his close relatives bought 11 Brickell condos on a single day in 2005, the Miami Herald reported over the weekend.
Quezada Salas has not responded publicly to the report. Nor has his political party, the New Alliance, which was founded by the leaders of the National Education Workers’ Union.
13Number of South Florida condos bought by Bernardo Quezada Salas and his family between 2004 and 2008
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“Deputy Quezada should come out and clarify what is the situation with his assets and clear up all that has come out in the last few days,” said Jesús Zambrano Grijalva, the leader of Mexico’s lower house of Congress, in a statement published online. “There should be an investigation. ... He should come forth and bear the consequences.”
Zambrano, who belongs to a leftist opposition party, said public money from the teachers’ union could have been involved in the deals. He called for the federal comptroller’s office to investigate. Quezada Salas’ party is allied with the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party.
The ousted leader of the union, Elba Esther Gordillo, was arrested in 2013 and charged with embezzling as much as $200 million.
Quezada Salas, who held several positions of power in the union starting in 1986, has not been accused of taking part in the alleged scheme. He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies last year.
The Mexican lawmaker and his wife also paid $1.9 million for luxury units in Miami Beach and Sunny Isles Beach, in addition to the $6.3 million spent on Brickell. Experts on Mexico’s educational system consulted by the Herald questioned how a union official and his family could afford such expensive homes.