Corruption at the Supreme Court
Magistrate Arturo Zaldívar made a shocking diagnosis - Photo: Mario Guzmán/EFE

Corruption at the Supreme Court

Mexico City
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If the Judiciary was an ill patient, it would be a gravely ill patient, with corruption and nepotism as the worst diseases

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The federal government has vowed to transform the country but this intention won't be fulfilled if it doesn't include the Federal Judiciary Branch, which is in charge of looking after the enforcement of the Constitution and protecting human rights, as well as settling the differences between powers.

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, the President of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea, made a shocking diagnosis: if the Judiciary was an ill patient, it would be gravely ill, with corruption and nepotism as the worst diseases.

The evaluation made by the minister during his first months as the head of the Supreme Court confirms the rumors: the assets and the lifestyle of many judges doesn't correspond to their salaries. Although there are ongoing investigations, complicity with organized crime is the main suspicion; nevertheless, he recognized that there are cases where organized crime has been able to infiltrate.

These rumors aren't recent, why are they being investigated until now? It is clear that for previous administrations in the judiciary branch, the cleansing of dishonest judges wasn't a priority, and the proper and honest use of resources wasn't important either. In early April, EL UNIVERSAL revealed irregularities in the Council of the Federal Judiciary in regards to the renting of properties, insurance payments, public projects and tenders, among other areas, which generated damages for MXN $5,428 million.

According to minister Zaldívar, the cure for this phenomenon is to have a Judiciary Branch that is austere, efficient, and close to society but it should also carry out comprehensive investigations and prosecute corrupt magistrates, as well as protect and provide security to the judges who aren't corrupt and risk their lives by punishing crime. Transparency in the use of public resources is also key.

Society constantly demands honest and exemplary judges. The members of the Judiciary Branch have the opportunity to modify the image of potentates they built of themselves.

One of the key strategies for the transformation of Mexican institutions is law enforcement. The participation of the Judiciary is essential, it is time for a renovation.


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