As far as political sex scandals go, the one dominating headlines in Mexico over the last 24 hours is truly over-the-top in terms of the the alleged brazenness and organization, and includes a detail that could have been lifted from a Steig Larson novel: an undercover female reporter dressed as a prostitute, with a hidden audio mic.
The man at the center of the storm is Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez, the president of the Mexico City branch of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), Mexico’s dominant political party.
Gutierrez, 46, is the son of a powerful union boss, and is known for his excesses. The latest allegations though, would even he make Anthony Weiner blush: he’s accused of running a prostitution ring that he managed for his own use, from the very headquarters of the PRI in Mexico City.
The accusation was launched Wednesday on a popular morning show on the MVS radio network. The MVS reporter -- whose name is being kept anonymous for her protection- said she responded to a series of newspaper ads requesting young “escort” ladies to work at a “government office”. The ads required that the women be between 18 and 32, and have flexible schedules. It promised anywhere between 8,000 and 14000 pesos ($1,100) a month.
What happened next was -- apparently -- captured with an audio recorder. You can hear the audio here.
The recording starts with the undercover reporter calling in response to the newspaper ad. A woman who calls herself Andrea asks her to stop by for an interview. Next, we are taken to what the reporter describes as a bright red building directly across the street from the PRI party headquarters in Mexico City, in the neighborhood of Buenavista-- where at night the streets are teeming with prostitutes. “Andrea” is next caught on tape informing the group of applicants of the potential job duties: receptionist tasks, attending events,and dancing. Then we hear a pause, and the conversation takes a darker turn. Andrea informs the applicants that sex may be expected. Always during office hours. Only oral and vaginal. The latter with protection. Cuauhtemoc Gutierrez, does not like fat women and lesbians, Andrea informs the applicants- most of whom, the reporter tells us, are single mothers, or divorcees.
The reporter goes on to narrate that she and the women who agreed to the terms of employment were taken across the street to the Mexico City PRI headquarters. At the headquarters, she alleges they were taken into a room where they were inspected by another woman, and asked to “get pretty”. She said Gutierrez, out from a meeting, inspected them himself. He left and shortly thereafter one woman from the group was asked to step into his office, the reporter says in her narration. A few minutes later, the woman came out, pale, disheveled, and her lipstick smeared.
The PRI has responded to the allegations by placing Gutierrez on temporary leave, and called for the Attorney General’s office to conduct an in-depth investigation. Gutierrez has also publicly condemned the story as libelous. He announced that he is presenting an official complaint against the network.