Immunity against prosecution for public officials is slowly being phased out in Mexico, state by state.
Baja California is the latest state to abolish the practice of granting such immunity, known as the fuero.
After voting unanimously on the issue March 9, the state Congress needed the approval of three of the state’s five municipal councils to carry out the necessary constitutional reforms.
Since then, the councils of Mexicali, Ensenada and Tecate have voted in favor of the proposal, and the local Congress can now send the law to the state governor for signature.
The whole process should be completed by the next congressional session on Monday, estimated the president of the Baja California Chamber of Deputies, Ignacio García Dworak.
Elsewhere, the states of Jalisco, Veracruz, Querétaro and Campeche have eliminated the fuero for government officials and Mexico City’s new constitution has been drawn up without the measure.
At the federal level, the administration of President Enrique Peña Nieto signed an agreement in 2012, known as Pacto por México, or Pact for Mexico, that called for the elimination of the fuero, but discussions are bogged down in Congress.
There is disagreement over whether the president should retain the immunity from prosecution. The governing Institutional Revolutionary Party says yes but the other parties say no.