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The Criminal Complicity of Mexico’s Political Class

La criminal complicidad de los políticos mexicanos atrasó 3 meses 2 dos desafueros que debieron aprobarse en abril. Imagen: EFE/Mario Guzmán

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The criminal complicity among the members of the Mexican political class is the main obstacle to the development of this country, which is sinking into crime and violence while its representatives watch their backs, turning laws into mockery and hope into discouragement.

This complicity is systematic and permanent, but there are times when it becomes outrageously obvious, as happened this week with the escape of two pro-government federal deputies, Benjamín Saúl Huerta Corona and Mauricio Toledo, accused of rape and illicit enrichment.

Huerta Corona (of Morena, AMLO‘s party) is accused, with ample evidence, of raping an 18-year-old boy and committing aggravated rape against another minor. For this, in the words of the representative of the prosecutor’s office, the politician “took advantage of the relationship of trust he had with the victims…and of his position as a federal deputy” since he took them to Mexico City under the pretext of taking them to see the Chamber of Deputies.

Toledo (of the PT, AMLO’s allied party) is accused, also with ample evidence, of using his previous positions as delegate chief and local deputy in Mexico City, to enrich himself “unjustifiably and inexplicably as it does not coincide with his income received for fees and emoluments.”

The evidence against both of them is overwhelming and has been publicly known for months, but the “authorities” cannot put them on trial or imprison them because the deputies have immunity and can only be criminally prosecuted after the Chamber of Deputies removes their immunity, which finally happened in a vote resolved, almost unanimously, last August 11.

The problem? Criminal complicity.

By then, both had escaped. Toledo went to Chile and Huerta is in hiding (although he declared he is still in Mexico). They had plenty of time to prepare their escape strategy, because for more than three months the official majority of the Chamber of Deputies resorted to endless pretexts to postpone the impeachment trial, which they could have done since April 30, when the chamber applied the same procedure to the PAN governor of Tamaulipas.

In a few words, at least part of the official benches operated in a direct and evident way to give their colleagues, one of whom is accused (with ample evidence) of raping and sexually abusing young boys, the time they needed to flee with all calm. That is complicity. And, above all, that is criminal.

The criminal complicity of Mexican politicians has real victims. Parents of abused child demand justice. (Image: EFE)

Before suing in America, Mexico must fight the criminal complicity it has at home

This is not an isolated incident. Mexican politics is full of similar anecdotes, where the law is twisted or flatly ignored to benefit certain political groups that in practice basically function as mafias thinly disguised under the cloak of institutional practices.

In fact, one of the most pathetic examples of this complicity occurred 11 years ago in the Chamber of Deputies itself: Julio César Godoy Toscano (of the now opposition PRD) who already had an arrest warrant against him for organized crime (related to one of the cartels), hid in the trunk of a car to take office and enjoy the protection of constitutional immunity.

His accomplice to mock the authorities and the country? Alejandro Encinas, who at that time was her fellow member of the bench and today is Undersecretary of Human Rights in López Obrador’s government.

Given this reality, the lawsuit filed by the Mexican government on August 4 in a Massachusetts Federal Court to demand punishment against a dozen companies that manufacture weapons in U.S. territory and which Mexico accuses of “deliberate commercial actions and practices” such as engraving Emiliano Zapata’s portrait on their guns is as insulting as it is absurd.

The lawsuit is simply another attempt by politicians south of the Rio Bravo to shift the responsibility for the disaster caused by their incompetence to the other side of the wall, and the response from the gun industry was not long in coming: the National Shooting Sports Foundation pointed out that “the Mexican government is responsible for the rampant crime and corruption within its borders” within which Mexican authorities are “exclusively responsible for enforcing its laws, including strict gun control laws”. Exactly.

Complicity destroys

The real villain destroying Mexico is not the American gunsmiths, nor the Spanish conquistadors, nor the Martians: it is the political class, whose criminal complicity is a fact as evident as it is outrageous, the result of decades of opacity and corruption that fed one generation after another of shameless politicians, accustomed to transact under the shadows of complicity and money.

The best example is the congressman who has now been disqualified for rape and sexual abuse. In fact, there is an audio of him talking to the mother of the child he “allegedly” abused and telling her: “We reached an economic agreement, I beg you. I am going to pay you back. Don’t destroy me”.

That is what the Mexican political class is used to. And yes, there are crooks like him all over the world, but when even after being fully exposed he receives the tacit support of his bench, to have 3 months of advantage and escape before being disqualified, we are no longer facing something normal, but a criminal complicity that for two centuries has been Mexico’s tragedy (and the joy of its politicians).

Gerardo Garibay Camarena, is a doctor of law, writer and political analyst with experience in the public and private sectors. His new book is "How to Play Chess Without Craps: A Guide to Reading Politics and Understanding Politicians" // Gerardo Garibay Camarena es doctor en derecho, escritor y analista político con experiencia en el sector público y privado. Su nuevo libro es “Cómo jugar al ajedrez Sin dados: Una guía para leer la política y entender a los políticos”

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