Witness is released against Elba Esther

Mexico City.- Nora Guadalupe Ugarte Ramírez, intervention of trade union funds in favor of Elba Esther Gordillo and who from the outset became a protected witness against the teacher, was released Friday night, according to legal sources.

Xucotzin Karla Montes Ortega, sixth district judge in federal prosecution, explained the incident of dismissal filed by the defendant and dismissed the lawsuit against her for money laundering and organized crime.

As happened with Gordillo herself and with her co-accused Isaías Gallardo Chávez and José Manuel Díaz Flores, the court ruled in the case of Ugarte that there were no elements to continue the lawsuit.

The arguments were the same as in the cases cited, that is to say that the funds it had received from the National Union of Education Workers (SNTE) to send them to Gordillo again were legal in nature and this led to the allocation of money laundering. discredited.

It was also established that the bank documentation used by the Attorney General's Office to support the accusation was illegal because it was not obtained with the permission of a judge, as established in a separate statement from the Supreme Court of the nation.

In short, if the origin of the money was not illegal, no criminal organization had been formed to carry out the laundering of those assets, and therefore the court also rejected the accusation for the crime of organized crime, the highest fine.

Ugarte was arrested in the south of Mexico City on February 26, 2013, although she was not behind bars in the first weeks of her detention, due to her apparent health problems, the PGR interned her in the Central Military Hospital.

For 19 years, this woman worked as a secretary in SNTE's general cashier area and, according to her ministerial testimonies, she was responsible for providing a number of wages, payments to suppliers and travel expenses.

From his first statement, the PGR granted him the benefits of a cooperating witness in exchange for information that could consolidate the accusations against Gordillo.

It was on February 28, 2013, just two days after her capture, she stated at the hospital that she was responsible for paying by bank transfers of all teacher expenses, including air services and their accounts in the exclusive stores. department head as Neiman Marcus.

But Ugarte went further and also pointed out that with money from the SNTE she paid out expenses for Maricruz Montelongo and Mónica Arriola (deceased), daughters of the former teacher.

The Federal Law against Organized Crime imposes a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison for those who commit this crime, without managerial or supervisory functions, and a reduction of two thirds of the sentence when the accused cooperates with information.

The woman was deprived of her freedom for 5 years, 6 months and 2 days, more than she would have been if she had made the benefits effective as a collaborative witness.

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