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Published: Wednesday 31 March 2004

The Ecologist Green Party of Mexico (pvem)

On February 24, 2004, scandal erupted when Mexican network giant Televisa and other media publicised a video showing images of senator Jorge Gonzales -- pvem's president -- being offered a bribe of two million dollars by a hotel chain executive to facilitate construction permits for a tourism project in the country's southeastern resort area of Cancun. Denying any wrongdoing, Gonzalez, 31, said the video was a set-up to tarnish his image. Larger issues surround the scandal. The video was made in early December during a meeting involving business executives and then-pvem activist Santiago Len, former lawmaker in the Mexico City legislature. Len was expelled form the party as a result of internal disputes earlier this year, but he made the video public "to demonstrate the corruption that reigns within that party." As Homero Aridjis, head of the Mexican ecological Group of 100, clarified, "The pvem is not at all environmental. They are only interested in power and money." "I hope this scandal means the death of the green party as we know it today, and from its ashes emerges a truly environmental party," he added.

Founded in 1986, the pvem is the fourth leading political force in Mexico, after the Institutional Revolutionary Party, President Vincent Fox's pan, and the Democratic Revolutionary Party.

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