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9 Dec, 2019 17:32

Mexico’s envoy to Argentina recalled over alleged theft of Casanova's bio from bookstore (VIDEO)

Mexico’s envoy to Argentina recalled over alleged theft of Casanova's bio from bookstore (VIDEO)

Mexico’s foreign ministry has recalled the country’s ambassador over a video allegedly showing the man in an act of shoplifting at one of the most famous bookstores in Buenos Aires.

The incident is said to have happened in late October at the El Ateneo bookstore in the Argentinian capital. Oscar Ricardo Valero Recio Becerra, or somebody who looks similar to him, was shown snatching a book from a shelf and hiding it in a newspaper he was carrying.

The alleged 76-year-old diplomat was caught in the act after the shop alarm went off as he was leaving the store. The man was stopped by store guards and invited back, where the unpaid book was discovered.

It turned out to be a biography of 18th century Italian adventurer and womanizer Giacomo Casanova, written by Guy Chaussinand-Nogaret. The book apparently cost less than $10.

The incident only became public after being broken on Sunday by the news website Infobae, which cited court documents. Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard announced on the same day that Valero has been recalled, saying there would be “zero tolerance of dishonesty” in his ministry. The diplomat will have to answer to an ethics committee at home, which should establish whether he is guilty of any wrongdoing.

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Valero’s tenure as the top representative of his home country in Argentina ends just months after he presented his credentials to Mauricio Macri, the incumbent president of the country. He is a career diplomat, who has been in the Mexican foreign service since the 1970s, and occupied several high-ranking positions, including deputy foreign minister.

According to Infobae, he had several hiccups previously, including a time in the 1980s when he was forced to resign as Mexico’s envoy to the Contadora Group, a regional body convened to tackle military conflicts in Central America. Valero reportedly paid for criticizing Elliot Abrams, the infamous Latin America meddler in several American administrations, and only resumed diplomatic work in 2001.This year’s Argentina appointment found him as an academic and political science researcher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

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