Cuauhtémoc Mayor Sandra Cuevas. Photo: Google

By KELIN DILLON

On Monday, June 13, the controversial mayor of Mexico City’s Cuauhtémoc municipality, Sandra Cuevas, was informed by the capital’s Administrative Justice Court (TJA) that she will be removed from her position for one year following her alleged crimes of abuse in relation to her contentious closure of the Deportivo Guelatao sports complex, a decision Cuevas has announced her intentions of challenging within the given 15-day appeal window.

Cuevas was previously suspended from office on March 14 after purportedly illegally detaining two police officers on Feb. 11, and later accusations of qualified robbery, discrimination and abuse of authority by the Federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR), effectively putting her mayoral duties in limbo ahead of June’s judicial intervention into the Deportivo Guelatao affair.

Now, as the TJA intends to strip away Cuevas’ mayorship, the Cuauhtémoc leader is resolved to stay in her position, publicly stating her intention to appeal the decision and saying  “let’s see if they can” remove her from office.

“I came here to govern and serve the people, and I am going to continue working,” said Cuevas on June 13. “We are going to legally fight this third round … a single person is going to put the government in check.”

Cuevas likewise doubled down on defending her closure of Deportivo Guelatao, claiming she had multiple expert opinions showing the complex was damaged and unfit for human use.

“I did the right thing, I did the right thing,” continued Cuevas. “The first thing is to safeguard the lives of the users. That is the crime, having closed Deportivo for 41 days until the city government gave me an opinion telling me that there was low risk, and then I reopened it. If that is abuse of office, then what do we mayors do? So, opposition mayors to the National Regeneration Movement (Morena), are we just paper, with no teeth?”

Cuevas went on to mention she would close the Deportivo for a second time given the chance in hopes of preventing a collapse or lethal accident in the complex, sending a jab to Morena for its role in the tragic Line 12 metro accident of May 2021 that left 22 dead.

“I don’t want anything to fall in my government or anyone to die, and if that is a crime and sufficient reason for them to dismiss me, well, let’s see if they can,” said Cuevas.

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