Government officials file numerous appeals against wage cuts in Mexico

Over a thousand government bureaucrats have filed appeals against Morena's Federal Remunerations Law
Government officials file numerous appeals against wage cuts in Mexico
The Criminal Code establishes that whoever makes more than 108 thousand pesos a month –the President’s wage-, will be subject to imprisonment for up to 14 years on charges for illicit enrichment - Photo: Lucía Godínez/EL UNIVERSAL
04/12/2018
16:24
Newsroom
Mexico City
Diana Lastiri & Alberto Morales/EL UNIVERSAL
-A +A

Facing the possibility of being held criminally liable for earning more money than the President of Mexico, several judges and magistrates have filed for ‘amparo’ appeals against the integration of investigations against them.

Until yesterday, the Federal Remunerations Law and other initiatives from the left-wing party Morena to reform the Federal Judiciary Branch had brought upon 512 collective lawsuits by 2,835 people, including 331 judges, 366 magistrates, 1,037 secretaries, 215 actuaries, 514 officials, and other bureaucrats from different government bodies.

EL UNIVERSAL had access to the ‘amparo’ draft prepared by the National Association of Judges and Magistrates, which was processed by federal courts, The document claimed that the expedition of the Federal Remunerations Law, which was accompanied by a reform to the Federal Criminal Code, would imply the application of sanctions before the law takes effect in 2019.

This is because the Criminal Code establishes that whoever makes more than 108 thousand pesos a month –the President’s wage-, will be subject to imprisonment for up to 14 years on charges for illicit enrichment. Furthermore, if the suspect decides to withhold information about other colleagues making more than 108K, he or she could face a similar sentence.

In the lawsuit, public servants claimed that wage cuts and sanctions would generate a negative impact, implying “a high risk of corruption, since such a radical reduction in public officials’ income could compel them to maintain their expense projection and compromise their compliance to their primary obligations.

Said negative effects represent, as will be mentioned in the lawsuit’s arguments, an unduly intervention of one Power over the other, affecting judiciary autonomy.

Furthermore, we have considered the need for a strong analysis of the law justification, which we consider to be completely false: No president in a country the size of Mexico would be able to perform properly an in a dignified way with a salary that is below-average in the job market for a position that guarantees acceptable governance. The President will have another service income in the federal budget to make up for his popular decision,” the document claims.

Federal sources have confirmed that a majority of judges who have received court appeals are granting suspensions so that the Federal Remunerations Law does not apply to them.

On the other hand, some of the initiatives that have sparked complaints from the Federal Judiciary Branch (PJF) are the rotation of judges and magistrates every six years, and their being subject to trust controls such as polygraph tests and other measures.

This morning, the new President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, claimed that the argument advanced by the Federal Judiciary Branch, which suggested that the wage cuts would open the door to corruption, lacked seriousness.

“A public servant will not only make around 105 thousand pesos a month, but he or she will also have the honor of serving the people. You disagree because you think that it is not enough money? Well then, you may turn to the private sector, though I must warn you they don’t make that much money either,” stated the President.
 

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