Judicial Workers March on Mexico City in Protest of Trust Extinction
By KELIN DILLON
On Sunday, Oct. 22, thousands of workers from Mexico’s Judicial Branch of the Federation (PJF) – including Supreme Court Justice of the Nation (SCJN) Minister Juan Luis González Alcántara Carranca and former Minister José Ramón Cossío Díaz – marched on Mexico City in protest of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s (AMLO) initiative to extinguish 15 billion pesos from 13 of the PJF’s 14 trusts.
The initiative, which passed through the Chamber of Deputies on Oct. 19, has been widely criticized by members of the PJF who say a large portion of the trusts in question exist to fulfill their labor rights, such as health care and worker pensions.
As a result, both present and former workers from the PJF began their peaceful protest in favor of the judicial branch’s autonomy at the Monument of the Revolution on Sunday morning, dressed in a sea of white, before heading to the Zócalo in Mexico City’s historic center.
The PJF emphasized that the march did not have political or partisan tones, urging local politicians to stay away from the protest.
Likewise, no security elements from the Mexico City Police were present at the rally, during which no violent incidents were recorded, though metal barricades were put up around the National Palace.
Despite the peaceful passage, AMLO took to his daily morning press conference on Monday, Oct. 23, to speak out against the march and PJF protestors, claiming that “some were very angry” and that “they even put on hoods and threw Molotov cocktails, they brought clubs and blowtorches.”
The federal executive also went on to criticize the participation of Alcántara Carranca and Cossío Díaz in the rally as “shameful.”
“A minister who earns 700,000 pesos a month left, he should be ashamed,” said López Obrador at the time. “How sensitive can a person be who supposedly has the job of administering justice and earns a very high salary that insults the majority of Mexicans. Cossío Díaz also went to the march, do you know how much he receives? 480,000 pesos a month in pension.”
AMLO went on to say that the extinction of the trusts would not affect the benefits or salaries of PJF workers before emphasizing that the 15 billion pesos controversially taken from the trusts would be repurposed into providing 2 million scholarships to students from poor families.