By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
A Mexican federal judge on Tuesday, Sept. 14, annulled the arrest warrant and the formal prison order issued against the two women accused of allegedly having caused the death of Attorney General (FGR) Alejandro Gertz Manero’s brother through negligence in 2015.
Fifth District Appeals Judge Patricia Marcela Diez Cerda in Mexico City ordered the release of Laura Morán Servín, widow of Federico Gertz Manero, and his daughter Alejandra Guadalupe Cuevas Morán because she deemed the charges against the women to be “inconsistent, contradictory and lacking any legal motivation.”
At the behest of the attorney general, who had a personal axe to grind with his in-laws, Morán Servín had been charged with the crime of negligent homicide of a common-law partner of more than 50 years and, at 94 years of age, was probably the oldest person in Mexico against whom an arrest warrant has been issued.
Her daughter Alejandra Guadalupe, 68, had been prosecuted for the same crime since October of last year and has been held without bail at the Santa Martha Acatitla Women’s Correctional Facility.
Federico Gertz died on Sept. 27, 2015. at the age of 82 at the ABC Hospital from a heart attack, related to a chronic and pre-existent heart failure condition, according to an autopsy performed by government authorities.
Based on those facts, Judge Diez Cerda granted protection to the widow against the outstanding arrest warrant and to her daughter against formal imprisonment, adding that her detention violated her basic human rights.
According to the appeal judgment, both the 67th Criminal Judge and the Seventh Criminal Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City (TSJCDMX) had failed to consider the evidence offered by the accused in their defense.
The judgement specifically noted the omission of 13 invoices, 24 tickets, four vouchers and a proof of income for the nursing equipment, which proved that the brother of the head of the FGR received appropriate medical attention, nursing services and medicines during the final weeks of his life, which would rule out criminal negligence.
“With the omission of the evaluation of said evidence in the pre-investigation stage, the rules that regulate evidence have been violated, and there is no legal basis to support postponing the assessment of contradictory evidence, which could cause the defendant irreparable damage,” the judge’s ruling stated.
Notwithstanding, the appeal judgement does not mean that Alejandra Guadalupe will immediately be released from prison nor that the arrest warrant against Laura Morán will be definitively annulled, since the decisions of Judge Diez Cerda can be challenged by the FGR, which, as previously stated, is controlled by Alejandro Gertz Manero himself and there are no laws preventing a judgement based on conflict of interest.
Diez Cerda pointed out that it was incongruous to accuse the widow and her daughter of any responsibility for the death of Federico Gertz Manero due to a lack of medical attention since they did provide care for him during his illness.
A close personal friend and political ally of leftist Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), Alejandro Gertz Manero has courted controversy since he was appointed to his office for both abuse of power and the alleged plagiarism of his doctoral thesis.
In addition to his personal vendetta against his in-laws, Alejandro Gertz Manero used his position to expropriate property belonging to his brother’s widow, including 3.5 million pesos from his brother’s account and works of art by Diego Rivera and Francisco Toledo.
Throughout all the glaring controversy, which has been broadly publicized by unbiased media both in Mexico and abroad, AMLO has steadfastly defended Alejandro Gertz Manero, calling him an “honorable and honest man,” bringing into question his own credibility and perception of justice and honesty.