The Importance of a Mexican Court without Political Quotas and Buddies

Academics, activists and civil organizations promote a Mexican Supreme Court without political quotas and buddies.

Academics, activists and civil organizations promote a Mexican Supreme Court without political quotas and buddies.

Day after day, the application of justice in Mexico has less credibility.

In the middle of the growth of the organized crime; corruption on all levels of the government; and in the allocation of quotas among parties to occupy key positions in the Executive and Judicial powers, where just some institutions still have prestige, as the Supreme Court of Justice (SCJN, in Spanish).

However, the SCJN’s prestige was disrupted when Eduardo Medina Mora was designated as Minister, for his history as public servant and because he is linked to President Enrique Peña Nieto.

“What rang the alarm was the designation of Eduardo Medina Mora to the Supreme Court. The donkey was not unfriendly, but that made it”, says constitutional lawyer Alejandro Madrazo Lajous, one of the initiators of the movement #SinCuotasNiCuates, which means “without quotas and buddies”.

The specialists do not consider Mr. Medina Mora as a justice promoter. He is considered a someone that has been contributing to the breakdown of the security and justice, above all when he was the Attorney General of the Republic (2006-2009); when he was in charge of the Ministry of Federal Public Security (2005-2006) and as General Director of the Center for Investigation and National Security (Cisen, in Spanish) from 2000 to 2005.

Mr. Medina Mora was responsible of the arrest of Alberta Alcantara Juan, Teresa González Cornelio and Jacinta Francisco Marcial in 2006. They were imprisoned for more than three years, accused of kidnapping six agents from the Federal Investigation Agency (AFI, in Spanish).

In 2009, Mr. Medina Mora led the detention without trial of 38 public servants of the state of Michoacan for alleged links to organized crime. A year later, 37 were released, and one nearly two years later, just for lack of evidence, as published on Animal Politico website.

Experts consider that a person who applies justice in that way should not be a Minister, and because of that the Court has been affected by the designation of Mr. Medina Mora.

“Mr. Medina Mora arrives to the Supreme Court, but no one talks about his qualities… None of the senators who voted for him explained their vote. What does that tell us? There are no reasons, the reasons are obvious, Mr. Medina Mora is close to the President”, says Mr. Madrazo Lajous.

Activists are trying to avoid a similar process with #SinCuotasNiCuates campaign. They want to give credibility and transparency to the Minister selection. They don’t want parties or groups in power to benefit of this process.

Mr. Madrazo Lajous is one of the promoters of the initiative on the website change.org. He has an important and successful academic background. He led several research projects and has published in Mexico and the United States on freedom of expression, gender and sexuality and drugs. He explained the three requests of the movement:

  • #SinCuotasNiCuates, that means “without quotas and buddies”. They are seeking to inhibit that the positions in the Supreme Court are just a decision between the parties or political groups.
  • An open auscultation. The group asks the Senate to make a transparent and punctilious process.
  • Gender equity. They want to increase the presence of women on the Supreme Court.
The first 40,000 signatures were delivered to the Mexican Senate.

The first 40,000 signatures were delivered to the Mexican Senate.

Mr. Madrazo Lajus considered that the selection of the new ministers will help the Court keep its independency and, even, the society will trust that it’s an independent institution.

The constitutionalist is one of the spokesmen, but the initiative is driven by almost one hundred of academics and activists, as well as civil organizations.

Until now, the Mexican President has said that he will respect the process set by the Constitution. “Was missing more!” expressed Mr. Madrazo Lajous, who believes that at least Peña Nieto has already ruled on the issue.

Even some parties leaders as Ricardo Anaya, of the National Action Party, and Manlio Fabio Beltrones, of the PRI -the party in power-, said that they supported the proposal.

It will be on November 30 when ministers Olga Sanchez Cordero and Juan Silva Meza leave their positions, which they had for 15 years.

However, the Senator licensed Raul Cervantes and he is now one of the names that sound to be selected as Minister. He is part of the PRI and this revives the suspicion that the process of the selection could be by political quotas or cronyism.

Currently the Court discusses major issues in Mexico, such as allowing the cultivation and distribution of marijuana.

Any citizen may join the petition change.org, where they have accumulated more than 48,000 signatures. They want ministers to be selected without quotas and buddies… or in Spanish: #SinCuotasNiCuates.

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