The Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico declared the popular consultation constitutional this Thursday proposed by the Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to decide whether to prosecute five former presidents of the country for corruption.
During a virtual session for the Covid-19 pandemic and in a tight vote, six magistrates defended that asking citizens about this matter is constitutional, while five considered it outside the Constitution.
However, the magistrates agreed review the question of the referendum that will be raised before the citizens in order to avoid conditioning the rights of the five former presidents.
«Do you agree that they take place actions in accordance with the legal framework to clarify the political decisions made in the past by political actors and guarantee justice and rights for possible victims? ”is the question agreed by the magistrates.
This modifies the one proposed by López Obrador: «Do you agree or not that the competent authorities, in accordance with the applicable laws and procedures, investigate, and where appropriate sanction, the alleged commission of crimes by former presidents Carlos Salinas de Gortari, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León, Vicente Fox Quesada, Felipe Calderón Hinojosa and Enrique Peña Nieto before, during and after their respective administrations?
Against all odds and after a heated debate, the majority of members of the Court rejected the project proposed by magistrate Luis María Aguilar, who considered the consultation a “concert of unconstitutionalities.”
Aguilar warned that “it is not possible to hold a popular consultation that condition the validity of human rights to what a group of the population decides.
He considered that by pointing out the former presidents violates your presumption of innocence and stressed that justice cannot be submitted to consultation since the authorities are “obliged” to report any crime.
However, the majority of magistrates chose to have a less restrictive view of the right of citizens to be consulted.
The president of the court, Arturo Zaldívar, who voted in favor of constitutionality, said that the Supreme Court had “a historic opportunity to give a truly democratic meaning to the popular consultation mechanism ”.
He defended a «more plural and inclusive democracy“And stressed that the result of the consultation would not be binding, so that justice would not be” at the mercy of public opinion. “
Before the vote, President López Obrador asked the Supreme Court in his daily press conference not to deny “the people their right to participate” and demanded “that democracy is fully enforced in the country”.
“To who human rights are violated, guarantees? If the question is very clear, it is that processes are carried out in accordance with the law, that there is no violation of human rights, “said the president, of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena).
Although the president is the main promoter of this consultation -which would be held in 2021- supported by about two million citizen signaturesLopez Obrador said he would vote against prosecuting them because he wants to avoid “revenge.”