Skip to Content

Former City Employees Accuse Councilmember of Nepotism and Patronage

By: Patrick Ellis | Real Acapulco News - 23 April, 2011

(Acapulco, AN 23 April) Former employees of Acapulco's Maintenance Department yesterday accused the city of having “aviators” – “ghost workers” on the public payroll who do not show up for work – who are family members of Ramiro Solorio Almazán, a city councilmember and vocal supporter of Mayor Manuel Añorve Baños. According to the accusers, these people receive government paychecks and take government property, but have no real job or function with the city. Specifically, the “aviators” are members of Solorio’s family, his wife and his wife’s family, and close friends. The salaries are around $6,000 pesos per month (approximately $500 USD, an average monthly wage for a public employee).

The ex-employees, Salvador Navarrete Calderón and Pablo Reyes Astudillo have sent a letter of protest to the City, with copies to the press, alleging that a warehouse foreman, Margarita Vélez Rivera, is really a domestic employee in the councilman’s home. Another administrative assistant, Brenda Jazmín Hernández Marino is said to be Solorio’s niece, and a manager of budget and costs, Guadalupe Cortés Mendoza, is in actuality his wife. Another dozen or so persons were mentioned in the letter, including relatives of the councilman, of his wife, and of Ms. Vélez Rivera, the employee in their home. None of them actually work for the City, they say.

Further allegations involve the disappearance of approximately 100 tons of recycled steel scrap, which they say left the City’s warehouse in private pick-up trucks under direction from Ms. Vélez. Approximately 300 square feet of ceramic tile was taken away under similar circumstances, the letter alleges. Another of the named individuals, Guadalupe Cortés, is said to have taken $100,000 pesos in money, documented by false invoices. Ms. Vélez is also alleged to have received 10% kickbacks from suppliers to the City for procured items. The letter of protest also cites that the year-end bonus for some of the workers in the maintenance department was withheld by named persons, threatening them with termination if they complained.

Mr. Calderón, one of the signatories of the document, said that it seemed to him to be “very unfair that they are firing workers just to be able to add family members to the payroll.”

Neither Councilman Solorio nor the City has made any comment.

Real Acapulco Newsletter