Queer ideas about justice
Enrique Juarez Vasconcelos, who oversees the public defender’s office for prisoners in the State of Puebla. has ordered his subordinates not to provide assistance to homosexuals, for among other reasons, “they’re all bastards.” It should be pointed out that in Mexico, one can be sent to prison before one’s trial, especially if one cannot post bail… meaning Juarez Vasconcelos’ clients are the kind of people who NEED public defenders.
Juarez Vasconcelos is also well-known for his unique approach to grading students at the local university where he teaches. He flunks students for being “faggots”… based on his own criteria.
Puebla has a reputation going back centuries as one of the more reactionary places in Mexico. The city was one of the few in the central part of the country to welcome General Winfield Scott, and a good part of the miracle of Cinco de Mayo wasn’t just that the Mexican Army held off the French, but that everyone expected Puebla to rise in support of Maximilian and monarchy.
Revulsion over the antics of the previous governor, Mario Marín Torres, who was affectionately referred to as “mi góber precioso by child-molesting textile magnate Kamel Nacif in the course of discussing plans to have journalist Lydia Cacho kidnapped and raped, and the general sense that the state was misgoverned, gave PAN an opening to sweep into a governor’s chair that had always been owned by the PRI in 2011… and so far other than not being quite so crude (a previous state prison official used rather colorful — or rather off-color — language questioning the sexuality of Marcelo Ebrard, then-governor of the Federal District, in reaction to the Federal District’s decision to legalize same-gender marriage) has delivering … nada: just the same old, same old reactionary attitudes.
Fermín Alejandro García opines in Jornada de Oriente:
This latest episode of homophobia is a direct consequence of the behavior of the current members of the PAN and the PRI. Politically controlled by the Catholic clergy or El Yunque, they have consistently refused to legislate against discrimination. The issue comes up in political discourse, but in the past six years nothing has been done since the PRI put a freeze on an anti-discrimination initiative prepared by then state legislator Malinali García. At the beginning of the present legislative session, a similar bill was introduced by Representative Jose Juan Espinosa, which is also languishing. This indicates that there are proposals, but no political will to fight against the mistreatment of people living in Puebla, and that homophobia is practiced with impunity.
Ricardo Bucio, of the National Council on Discrimination (CONAPRED for its acronym in Spanish) had an urgent meeting just last week with the Puebla State Congress on the need for anti-discrimination legislation. The need for such legislation was underscored by a gay-bashing murder in Tehuacán last weekend, which state authorities were negligent in investigating (taking 16 hours to pick up the body) and setting a new record for anti-gay hate crimes in the state, double the previous record for a single year.