Mexico charges ex-political boss in sex recruiting scandal


MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors in Mexico City said Tuesday they have obtained an arrest warrant for the former local boss of the long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, who resigned in 2014 following reports that his office hired women to have sex with him and placed them on party payrolls.

The prosecutors’ office said Tuesday that former Mexico City politician Cuauhtémoc Gutierrez has been charged with attempted sexual exploitation, false advertising and criminal conspiracy.

The office said one other man and three women also faced charges in the case, and all were still at large. It said that the government’s anti-money laundering unit had frozen the suspects’ bank accounts, and alerts have been issued to prevent them from leaving the country or locate them if they already have.

It was not clear if the charges were based on the accusations that emerged in 2014, but they match Gutierrez’s alleged behavior back then. Prosecutors said at that time they did not have enough evidence to bring the case to trial, but it was later re-opened.

In 2014, the MVS radio station aired a story by an undercover reporter who recorded recruiters at Gutierrez’s office telling potential hires they would have to have sex with Gutierrez if given a job as secretaries or receptionists.

The report alleged he recruited women for the positions through newspaper ads for “women to work in government offices.”

Gutierrez denied the accusations at the time. A lumbering, bearded figure, he was long known as “The King of Trash” because his family once led an association of the city’s garbage-pickers.

The PRI enjoyed a 71-year hold on the presidency, losing it in 2000 and regaining the nation’s top post in 2012, before losing it again in 2018. The party has been plagued by corruption scandals throughout its long existence.

The Mexico City government has been held by the opposition since 1997, and since 2018 by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party.

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