MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico recalled its ambassador to Argentina after a video surfaced suggesting he may have tried to steal a book from a Buenos Aires bookstore.
Ambassador Óscar Valero Recio Becerra “has been ordered to return home,” said Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcelo Ebrard. The diplomat will be investigated by a government ethics committee.
If Recio Becerra is found to have stolen the book, Ebrard said he will be fired, noting there will “zero tolerance for dishonesty.”
The video appears to show the diplomat tucking the book into a stack of papers he is holding and being stopped by security after passing a detector gate on the way out.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Monday the incident was “regrettable,” but warned against a rush to judgement.
López Obrador noted that Recio Becerra was both a career diplomat and had a long pedigree in Mexico’s left.
The incident is especially embarrassing given López Obrador’s main policy aim of promoting honesty among public servants.
But his administration has also imposed harsh cuts on pay and expenses for some diplomats.