Mexican officials abuse authority on behalf of boss's daughter

Mexico City, May 10 (EFE).- Four federal officials will be suspended for having tried to shut down a capital restaurant after their boss's daughter was denied the table of her choice at the establishment, the office of Mexico's inspector general said.

What has become known as the "Lady Profeco" case caused widespread irritation at the unwarranted use of political influence, and led to an order by President Enrique Peña Nieto to investigate the incident and penalize those responsible.

The incident occurred on April 26, when Andrea Benitez, daughter of the head of the Profeco consumer protection agency, Humberto Benitez, was denied the table she wanted at the restaurant because it had already been reserved by other diners.

After several threats by the young woman, Profeco officials arrived on the scene to paste up stickers saying the restaurant's activities were suspended, to the surprise of both the owners and diners.

The inspector general's office announced that four senior Profeco officials have been suspended "temporarily."

"We must point out that the investigation did not turn up any elements that would lead to charges against" Humberto Benitez, the official note said.

Benitez subsequently held a press conference in which he insisted that he was notified after the operation took place, that he had not ordered or authorized it, and that his only responsibility was as a parent.

The official, who had already apologized publicly for the incident, recalled that on the day it occurred he was recovering from hip surgery.