By RICARDO CASTILLO
Voting for a Rigmarole
The 11-member Mexican Supreme Court vote to allow a referendum to be held to decide whether to bring to trial past presidents for crimes allegedly committed while in they were in power past last week in two stages.
The first stage was to decide if the public referendum is constitutional.
The referendum’s constitutionality was approved by a tight six-to-five vote.
The judges, however, did not like the wording of the question submitted by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO),so they decided to change it.
If the first Supreme Court decision raised eyebrows across Mexico, the second decision raised a raucous stint.
Here is a comparison between what AMLO sent for approval and what the judges came up with:
AMLO´S version: “Are you in agreement that competent authorities, with full compliance under the laws and applicable proceedings, investigate, and in case of a guilty verdict, sanction, the alleged committing of crimes on the part of former presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Vicente Fox Quesada, Felipe Calderòn Hinojosa and Enrique Peña Nieto previous to and during their respective tenures?”
The court’s edited version: “Are you in agreement for pertinent actions be taken, in compliance with the Mexican Constitution and its framework, to conduct a clarification of political decisions taken in years past by political actors, leading to the guaranteeing of justice and the rights of potential victims?”
This final wording passed with an overwhelming eight against three.
Should the popular consultation referendum ever be carried out, it is the question voters will have to answer.
Many legal experts believe that the judges’ rewritten version essentially says nothing and, in the end, will leave voters deciding for or against nothing.
Supreme Court President Arturo Zaldivar said that this new wording provides an opportunity “to maximize human rights in Mexico since what is at stake is not a juridical, but a political issue that is related to further consolidate the still young Mexican democracy.”
AMLO approved the court’s rewritten version of his question because, for him, even if it is watered down from the original querie, it allows the Mexican people to decide on the matter.
Furthermore, he said, the Mexican public already knows full well who are the “political actors” who are being accused.
“Those who claim that the refendum means nothing are your usual array of organic intellectuals.”
Brawl in Chihuahua
AMLO visited the northern border town of Ciudad Juárez on Friday, Oct. 2, to attend an official event.
What stunned everyone in Juárez, just across the bridges from El Paso, Texas, is that the president broke protocol and did not invite Chihuahua Governor Javier Corral to the event, which was attended by independent Juárez Mayor Héctor Armando Cabada Alvídrez.
Moreover, AMLO used the occasion to openly accuse Corral, a member of the opposition National Action Party (PAN), of placing party politics ahead of national interests in the increasingly tense standoff over paying Mexico’s water debt to the United States.
“All of the other northern Mexican states have contributed their share of the water that we have to deliver to the United States,” AMLO said.
“But the input from Chihuahua is missing because, in a very opportunistic and irresponsible manner, now they (meaning Corral and other PAN politicians) have suddenly become highly nationalistic and do not want the water to be delivered, putting Mexico in a most difficult position.” AMLO said, noting that the United States is now even considering slapping duties on Mexican exports if the water is not delivered in full and on time, as stipulated in the 1944 binational water.sharing treaty.
Corral retorted that the problem is rooted in the fact that AMLO “has offended the people of Chihuahua.”
In the meantime, the La Boquilla reservoir, where the water that is owed to Texas is being stored, remains under control of armed “farmers” under the protection of Corral.
From Ciudad Juárez, AMLO then moved on to the neighboring state of Sonora to inaugurate a new garrison of the recently formed National Guard.
In contrast with his behavior with Corral, AMLO was full of niceties for Sonora Governor Claudia Pavlovich, a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), who hosted the security-oriented event.
U.S. Embassy Employee Dead
Baja California judicial police found the severely beaten corpse of a U.S. Agriculture Department employee, Edgar Flores Santos, on Thursday, Oct. 1.
The Tijuana Consulate had reported Flores missing the day before.
The local attorney general said that Flores the coroner had conducted an autopsy and found that Flores had died from a head wound and that his corpse was found on the municipal limits separating Tecate from Tijuana,
The motives for the murder are as yet unknown.
Landau Visits SMA
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Christopher Landau visited the Guanajuato tourist town of San Miguel de Allende, where he met with Mayor Luis Alberto Villarreal García, as well as with former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, who was also visiting.
The ambassador likewise met with local NGO leaders Donna Fourdray of the San Miguel Community Foundation, Nancy Contractor of the San Miguel Children´s Patronage and Anthony Adelbert, the current chair for Feed the Hungry.
These three explained to Landau the not-so-easy task of supporting over 50,000 “vulnerable” families through various charitable programs.
…Oct. 5, 2020