Organized crime infiltrated Mexico's Supreme Court

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, the magistrate explains corruption is a key issue in the judiciary

Organized crime infiltrated Mexico's Supreme Court
Left: Minsiters Eduardo Medina Mora/Right: Minister Arturo Zaldívar - Photo: File Photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 09/06/2019 14:44 Newsroom Mexico City Actualizada 15:00
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Minister Arturo Zaldívar, the president of Mexico's Supreme Court has revealed that organized crime infiltrated the Judiciary.

In an interview with EL UNIVERSAL, the magistrate explains corruption is a key issue in the judiciary. Nevertheless, the magistrate emphasized that most judges and magistrates risk their lives since many of them have been threatened by criminal groups and said they should be protected and recognized by society.

In the last four years, Mexico's Federal Judiciary Branch has documented cases where judges and magistrates have been linked to corruption, collusion with organized crime groups, nepotism, sexual harassment, among other crimes.

In a recent interview with EL UNIVERSAL, minister Arturo Zaldívar said that he has identified some judges and magistrates linked to organized crime, especially in the state of Jalisco.

The president of the Supreme Court refused to name anyone and emphasized that although some judges and magistrates have colluded with criminals, the majority of the Judiciary are honorable and honest members.

During the previous administration at the Judiciary, led by Luis María Aguilar Morales, 36 magistrates and 49 district judges were sanctioned for irregularities.

Some of the judges and magistrates sanctioned include federal magistrate Isidro Avelar Gutiérrez, who was accused of corruption. Moreover, the magistrate is allegedly linked to the Jalisco Nueva Generación Cartel (CJNG). He has been suspended for six months and he has no access to his bank accounts, as both the Mexican and U.S. governments are investigating him.

Francisco Martín Hernández Zaragoza, a judge from Jalisco, was investigated by authorities since 2014 for corruption, money laundering, as well as sexual harassment against several courthouse workers. He was removed in February 2015 and the verdict was confirmed by the Supreme Court in October 2017.

Luis Armando Jerezano Treviño, a former from Torreón, Coahuila, was removed in 2015 after he was linked to money laundering as he colluded with Juan José Rojas Cardona, known as the Tzar of Casinos.

Francisco Ramos Silva, a judge from the State of Mexico, was removed in 2016 after being accused of sexual harassment. He was in charge of cases such as the murder of Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo in Jalisco.

Magistrate Jesús Guadalupe Luna Altamirano was removed from office in 2017, after being accused of illicit enrichment and freeing the son of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán.

And last week, minister Eduardo Medina Mora, who was also Ambassador of Mexico to the United States from 2013 to 2015, was embroiled in scandal.

According to journalist Salvador García Soto, transferred at least MXN $103 million to bank accounts in the UK and the U.S., as reported by the UK's National Crime Agency and the U.S. Treasury Department. The 12 transfers took place between 2016 and 2018.

In regards to this high-profile case, President López Obrador revealed that the U.S. government notified the Finance Ministry's Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) about the suspicious bank transfers made by the Supreme Court minister Eduardo Medina Mora. The UIF has also received information from both the UK and U.S. authorities.

In a letter addressed to EL UNIVERSAL, minister Medina Mora denies all the accusations and states that the bank accounts don't belong to him.

Nevertheless, President López Obrador said that his government will investigate all money laundering and illicit enrichment cases and emphasized that if there is evidence, the government will file charges.


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