"I'm innocent! (…) I got my freedom back and the educational reform has collapsed." With these words, Elba Esther Gordillo appeared in public after having spent more than five years in a prison trial.
Two weeks after a federal court rejected her case and exempted her from the crimes of operations with illicit origin and organized crime, the former leader of the National Union of Educational Workers (SNTE) said she was a victim of political persecution, intimidation and injustice, while showing the judicial resolution that gave him freedom.
"Here they have the image that has dominated me for more than five years and is the product of political persecution, bullying and injustice.It's the product of a file based on lies and false accusations to make me look guilty something I have not done, I am innocent and I show you what justifies the agreement, I got freedom again and education reform has collapsed, "he said.
Dressed in a simple black suit, without jewels and visibly thin, who was the leader of the largest trade union in Latin America, she greeted the teachers and the media who attended the Castillo Hall of the Presidente Intercontinental Hotel, a few meters from the Galileo street department, where he kept house arrest for eight months.
Over the more than five years he spent in prison, he said, "Not only did I have to suffer, the teachers in Mexico have also suffered."
He claimed to have been the victim of a "perverse orchestration". because of the hardness with which he was treated and referred to the last speech he gave days before he was arrested and imprisoned, when he wrote his epitaph and asked for a warrior & # 39; to be called.
"[Como dirigente magisterial] I have committed the best of myself and I have not shunned any risks, I did not accept unworthy conditions. They did not save resources or ink from a media vision to treat me with a hardness that could only favorably influence a perverted orchestration. It is better to overcome yourself than to win a thousand battles. Today this warrior has peace, "he said.
He apologized to the professors after he remarked that they were being subjected to a "political and mediated persecution" that was trying to destroy the labor exterminations and destroy the union.
Without mentioning it directly, he accused the federal government that "he would rather spend on propaganda than investing in an effective program to improve education in the country.
"I am sorry that we have been held responsible for the complex educational situation in the country, where most teachers do their best with the inadequate tools the government provides.
"I also regret that some of the attitudes that have been attributed to me have helped us to be an easy target, a scapegoat that was blamed everywhere (…), I regret that those who had to defend it did not do it and betrayed, "he said.
From before 8 o'clock in the morning, professors and members of the teachers' movements of Progressive Social Networks and teachers for Mexico lined up to enter the space where the teacher returned.
On the first row of the room was his sister Martha; his daughter Maricruz Montelongo; as well as her husband and former Deputy Minister of Primary Education, Fernando González; his grandchildren René Fujiwara, Tadeo González and Othón de León, and their great-grandchildren.
Among the trade union leaders, the coordinator of the Progressive Social Networks, Rafael Ochoa, former general secretary of the trade union, stood up.
Gordillo asked the teachers, at the beginning of the school year, to do their best and give the best of themselves in class, "with the certainty that their concerns must be faithfully defended, that their rights are quickly defended. dignity of the magisterium is again appreciated ".
He indicated that there is an SNTE crisis of "self-destruction" that has never been seen in his "long and complex" history. He added that this organization was "strong and self-determined" and that it is time to restore these characteristics.
He said that he will be surrendered to his family in the near future, but that he will not abandon his convictions. Life goes on, he said, and will stay with the teachers.
"The world and our country are immersed in a profound transformation and we have received a great lesson on citizenship, and what needs to be carefully considered, without obsessions and without hatred, without resentment for the past and thinking about the future. Always work for the well-being of the country, the people, "he said.