Judge Says López-Gatell Must Face Charges for Deaths

Mexican covid-19 czar Hugo López-Gatell. Photo: Google


Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (FGR) must investigate Public Health Undersecretary and federal covid-19 czar Hugo López-Gatell for his alleged responsibility for the crime of homicide during the covid-19 pandemic, a specialized federal control judge determined on Wednesday, Jan. 19.

The judge also said that López-Gatell should be investigated for “his lack of duty of care, negligence and the due exercise of his public function” in caring for victims of the virus.

In a formal judgement, the judge said that there are sufficient grounds to try López-Gatell for “professional neglect” and for his responsibility for his decisions that, “as a material result, led to the death of thousands of Mexicans.”

The judicial order came in response to charges filed in November before the FGR by relatives of Felipe del Carmen Jiménez Pérez and Eber Álvarez Zavala, who died of covid-19 in 2020.

On Dec. 15, the Fe3deral Prosecutor’s Office notified the complainants by email that it would refrain from investigating the official, considering that the facts reported did not constitute a crime.

At that time, the decision of the Prosecutor’s Office was challenged, but a judge denied protection to the relatives of the victims.

However, on Dec. 2, 2021, the Seventh Collegiate Court in Criminal Matters of the First Circuit Court revoked the decision of the district judge and ordered the federal control judge to again hold an appeal hearing on Wednesday.

During that hearing, the judge determined that “the FGR had issued a ministerial agreement that is not duly founded and motivated, by virtue of the fact that it is not proper to abstain from investigating.”

As of Thursday, Jan. 20, Mexico had registered 4,495,310 confirmed covid-19 cases and 302,081 deaths, although most experts say that the figures are actually much higher since very little covid testing is conducted in the country.

Leave a Reply