By RICARDO CASTILLO
Judge Implicated in Bribery Scandal
The recorded phone negotiation made public by Mexico’s Fiscal General of the Republic was stunning.
It was of the alleged negotiation between Francelia Salgado, mother of accused drugpin José Angles “El Mochomo” Covarrubias, and Assistant Judge Marco Aurelio González, who works directly under Judge María del Socorro Castillo Sánchez, head of the Second District Court in Toluca, which deals with high-profile detainees at the Altiplano “top-security” Penitentiary, the same one from which Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán escaped.
This time, the detainee,“El Mochomo,” was a well-known heroin trafficker as well as the man who for the past six years has been pointed out as the probable main culprit in the disappearance on Sept. 26-27, 2014, of 43 missing students from the Ayotzinapa Normal school.
The alleged negotiation was over the amount Salgado was willing to pay for the liberation of her son. The final amount agreed upon was two million pesos, if all went well.
The cash-only payout was to be delivered once El Mochomo was released, It was a “dando y dando” deal, meaning you deliver and I deliver.
Presumably, the cash was paid in the wee hours of Thursday, July 3, since Judge Castillo Sánchez signed the release order.
However, El Mochomo had only walked about six steps out of the penitentiary when he was rearrested by officials from the Undersecretariat Specialized in Organized Crime Investigations (SEIDO) and provisionally tanked for another 40 days to allow time for the Fiscal General to put the case together again.
Now, the media limelight is not only shining on the alleged culprit, El Mochomo, but also his mother and Judge Castillo Sánchez.
SEIDO is now putting together its case.
Will the judge be judged too? That would come as a surprise.
Domestic Workers Aligned
The Mexican Foreign Relations Secretariat announced on Friday, July 3, that the nation is now formally incorporated into Agreement 189 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) on the work of house cleaners or domestic workers.
The agreement establishes guidelines to guarantee the mostly women workers be protected from exploitation, violence and insecure labor environments.
Household cleaners in Mexico receive low wages, work long days and have no rights as exposed by the 2018 Oscar-winning movie “Roma,” voted as the best foreign film of the year.
The new agreement is aimed at having them hired as regular employees with the corresponding benefits.
Even then, most labor lawyers’ feel it will be sometime before household servants will get full labor rights recognition in Mexico.
CFE to Defend Lost Cause
Legal representatives for Mexico’s Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) will challenge the decision published by the London International Arbitration Court (IAC) concerning the failed construction of an electricity generating plant in the Chicoasen II Dam in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas.
The IAC mandated that $200 million worth in damages be paid by the CFE to construction companies Casaba and Omega for breach of contract, since both companies won the bidding for the construction during the CFE directorship of now-Federal Deputy Enrique Ochoa Reza of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
In a press release, the CFE said, “we are evaluating the resolution to challenge it within the national jurisdiction based on procedural data within the Commercial Code.”
The suspension of the Chicoasen II Dam construction was due to Chiapas social and political conflicts that forced the CFE to suspend construction during the administration of former Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
The mandate of the IAC is for the CFE to indemnify Casaba and Omega, but the CFE lawyers are claiming that this is a “litigation inheritance” that the current administration, under CFE Director Manuel Bartlett Diaz, wants challenged.
The IAC decided in favor of the companies because the CFE denied them access to the construction site.
Covid-19 in the City
No sooner had Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that downtown Mexico City would open for business this past weekend than literally millions of Chilangos (Mexico City residents) flocked downtown to celebrate .starting on Friday, July 4.
The mayor was forced to immediately cancel the opening attempt and ordered the downtown area closed for business immediately due to the fact that the vast majority of the visitors were not wearing a face cover and were not complying with safe distancing procedures, but rather, as usual, bumping into each other in a mangled mob of people.
Sheinbaum said she would offer an alternative proposition this week.