Arrest warrants are to be issued for the former mayor and his entire council of a municipality in Tabasco for contempt of court.
The Supreme Court has ruled that ex-mayor Pedro Landero López and the 10 former councilors of Nacajuca must face justice for failing to comply with a court order.
In a plenary session, the court resolved by a vote of six to five that the local government led by Landero from 2013 to 2015 is responsible for an inexcusable breach of a district court amparo or injunction.
The decree, dated July 14 2014, ordered the city council to compensate dozens of former municipal workers for unpaid wages to the tune of 40 million pesos (US $2.2 million at today’s exchange rate).
The decision is an unprecedented ruling for the court because it is the first time that it has consigned an entire city council to the justice system.
Once the ruling has been filed, a federal judge in Tabasco’s capital Villahermosa will be required to issue arrest warrants for the former politicians.
The ex-mayor and councilors had also previously ignored a Tabasco Bureaucratic Tribunal directive to pay the workers in 2012.
Justice Alfredo Gutiérrez, one of the judges who voted in favor of the decision, said, “For me the rebelliousness and contempt of court of the municipality is evident.”
Justice Margarita Luna Ramos, one of the judges in the minority, didn’t support the decision as she maintained that the state government didn’t approve the provision of funds to the municipal government.
The court had considered the case on Tuesday but a vote ended in a 5-5 tie. With the vote of Justice Alberto Pérez Dayán yesterday the deadlock was broken.
The court also voted, unanimously in this case, to not impose any sanctions on the current Nacajuca city council as it has shown that it has the will to pay the workers the money they are owed.
The crime of failure to comply with an amparo is punishable by a prison sentence of five to 10 years as well as a subsequent disqualification from holding public office for the same period.
Nacajuca is a municipality of about 85,000 people in the northern part of the state.