In the movies, the lone hero who singlehandedly fights crime and gets the bad guy always comes out on top, right?

Too bad it doesn’t work that way in real life. It certainly doesn’t work that way in the corrupt world of Mexican politics, where a few powerful families get enormously rich off graft and influence-peddling.

In February of 1995, a young government prosecutor broke one of Mexico’s unwritten but rigidly enforced laws — don’t fool with the ruling elite. The prosecutor, Jose Cortes Osorio, was hailed as a hero for his arrest of Raul Salinas, brother of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas. Raul Salinas was convicted of murder, and there have also been widespread accusations that he accumulated a huge fortune in bribes from Mexican drug dealers.

But now Cortes himself is behind bars, charged with fabricating evidence against Salinas. Lozano Gracia, a former Mexican attorney general, echoes the feelings of many when he says that Cortes’ biggest crime was to “solve a case that was too sensitive for Mexico’s society. The charges against him (Cortes) are absurd.”

Both villain Salinas and hero Cortes are now in jail. But a recent investigative report by a Mexican newspaper reports that Salinas is living in luxury even while in prison. His cell has all the trappings of a luxury villa, including landscaped gardens. Cortes, on the other hand, is cramped in a small cell and wears the standard prison uniform.

Meanwhile, former president Carlos Salinas lives in great luxury in Ireland where he fled to enjoy his ill-gotten millions.

(Source: Miami Herald.)

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