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High crimes and misdemeanors

29 October 2019

For all the “can then, or can’t they” talk about impeaching the President of the United States, I don’t know if this is the right time for the Mexican administration to be making it easier to impeach their president, but they are.  With the President’s full support.

It’s a bit strange to people from the US and elsewhere that elected officials in Mexico enjoyed a “fuero” … immunity from prosecution, in nearly all instances.  Most western European and Latin American nations gave immunity to their officials in the mid-19th century for a good reason: it was just too tempting for the powers that be to dispose of “inconvenient” legislators and other officials for the most trivial of offenses.  As the Mexican Constitution stands now. should President Lopéz Obrador, an avowed pacifist,do something so unlikely as shooting someone in broad daylight in the middle of Insurgentes, there would be absolutely nothing anyone could do about it.  A few demonstrations, some blistering editorials in the opposition press and some cruel political cartoons, but that would be the end of it.

It literally took an act of congress to attempt to try Lopéz Obrador for the murky “crime” of using the power of eminent domain to build an access road to a hospital through a patch of land supposedly owned by various Vicente Fox supporters, and he was merely Mexico City’s head of government at the time.  Considering that the whole point of the exercise was to prevent him from running for the Presidency — a candidate cannot be under indictment — it takes some really imoressive mental contortions to claim it was not a political act, rather than a search for justice.

Even so, Lopéz Obrador and his party (which controls both houses of Congress, and more than enough state legislatures to ensure passage) passed a bill today in the Chamber (the lower house of congress) which opens the way not just to “impeachment” but to trying former presidents for misdeeds in office.  Where it took an act of treason for a president to lose his immunity, the new bill allows presidents to be tried for a number of common crimes (rape, murder, house-breaking, abuse of minors, human trafficking, pimping, auto and truck theft) and some that usually require being in a position of power… treason, misuse of public resources for personal enrichment, using social programs for electoral advantage, and just plain old abuse of power.  And the always popular corruption.

Does Trump Tower offer a special rate for Mexican ex-Presidents and governors and representatives?

One Comment leave one →
  1. norm permalink
    30 October 2019 5:43 am

    The real question for me is if Mexico has an Ex Post Facto clause in its constitution? Even though said act was illegal when it occurred in the past, if it was not actionable then, ex post facto should, in a reasonable world apply. Now skullduggery after the new law/policy is in place, those should be fair game.

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