The News
The News
Tuesday 28 of March 2023

The Merry Widow Tanked

Xóchitl Tress Rodríguez,photo: Cuartoscuro
Xóchitl Tress Rodríguez,photo: Cuartoscuro
Why Xóchitl and not Karime?

Why Xóchitl and not Karime?

This is the question asked by many Mexicans who swear that the arrest and trial of former Veracruz Gov. Javier Duarte de Ochoa was drafted and crafted by President Enrique Peña Nieto himself. But, who is Karime and who is Xóchitl?

Karime Macías is Duarte’s legal wife. She ruled Veracruz as first lady for six years and enjoys full freedom regardless of the fact that many claim she masterminded many of Duarte’s swindles. Yet she faced no charges at all when Duarte was arrested in Guatemala and three weeks ago extradited to Mexico City’s North Side Prison. She now lives in London with their three children and has filed for divorce. She is said to be in possession of all the monies her husband stole.

During the second appearance before a judge, it was revealed by former friend and now accuser of Duarte de Ochoa, Juan José Rodríguez Janeiro, had spilled the beans as to the fact that besides the many swindling charges Duarte was accused of, he had also been unfaithful to his wife Karime with a widower named Dominga Xóchitl Tress Rodríguez, who since 2014 was appointed to the post of director of the Veracruz Institute for Educational Spaces. Besides, she shared part of the ill-gotten money as Duarte gave her two gifts: an apartment at the plush and fashionable Santa Fe area in Mexico City and a Land Rover van.

Besides being a government official, Xóchitl earned the moniker of “The Merry Widow” as her husband Gregorio Barradas of the National Action Party (PAN) was gunned down and murdered a few days after he became mayor of the Juan Rodríguez Clara municipality in 2010.

Reports — and sheer gossip — are that Xóchitl got her “Merry Widow” nickname because of her uninhibited behavior in several sexual scandals with politicians and musicians that made the gossip pages of newspapers and, of course, the social networks filled with photos of her misbehaving.

Yet she cooled down when she got her post at the Institute for Educational Spaces, a post she managed to keep for nine months because by 2015 Karime Macías heard all about her husband’s affair with Xóchitl, who was fired by Duarte from her job immediately.

Xalapa, the Veracruz state capital, was full with gossip on this while it was going on but apparently Duarte continued the affair – motive apparent for Karime filing for divorce – and moved to her Santa Fe apartment.

Last Monday Xóchitl Tress was arrested near Puerto Vallarta and arraigned in a Veracruz state prison for two years without the right to bail. On this charge – excessive by all means – it must be pointed out that Javier Duarte de Ochoa was arraigned for six months.

In all this, Karime Macías has been accused by current Veracruz Gov. Miguel Ángel Yunes of being the real beneficiary of Duarte’s many thefts of public funds, and Yunes has even made public a hand written notebook filled with her handwriting in which she says “I deserve all this” meaning the immense wealth her husband had amassed.

Now, back to the initial question: Why Xóchitl and not Karime?

In the eyes of everyone in Mexico, Javier Duarte is receiving special treatment directly from President Enrique Peña Nieto, who is said to be the author of this real life novella. Let’s not forget that back when Duarte became governor of Veracruz in 2011, then presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto called him “the new face of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI)” and nicer things.

Since the extradition procedures a few months ago, it was clear that Karime Macías had been exonerated from any wrong doing “by the grace of God”, as pundits put it when a Mexican president meddles into an affair of interest, and surely Karime will go unscathed from all this political quagmire.

But the “punishment” to Xóchitl for having received gifts — she’s never denied it — from Javier Duarte de Ochoa is both brutal and unwarranted and a show of injustice on the part of President Peña Nieto himself, who, again (this is not just this writer assuring it) is seen as the man behind the “go-easy-on-Duarte” approach to justice.

Perhaps this maybe answers the question of why Xóchitl, and not Karime.