Saturday, June 15, 2024

Attorney general says no to revealing accusations filed against AMLO

The federal Attorney General’s Office (FGR) has refused to disclose the number of complaints it has received against President López Obrador or whether it is investigating the president for any crime.

In response to a request for such information submitted by the newspaper El Universal, the FGR said it couldn’t divulge it because doing so would violate a privacy and confidentiality clause in the federal transparency law.

“Affirming or denying the existence or nonexistence of an inquiry, complaint [or] preliminary investigation against an identified or identifiable person, as is the case at hand, would infringe on the privacy, honor, good name and presumption of innocence of the person,” it said.

The FGR’s refusal to reveal the information breaches an order from the national transparency watchdog (INAI) for it to disclose any complaints made against the president and his predecessors. INAI said in January that the dissemination of such information would aid accountability and help to guarantee citizens’ right to access information.

The Supreme Court has also opined that the right to the protection of one’s honor and good name should not apply as stringently in the case of public officials.

Although the FGR refused to say how many complaints have been filed against López Obrador, it is known that several individuals and organizations have gone to the Attorney General’s Office to make formal accusations against him.

The National Anti-AMLO Front filed a wide-ranging complaint in May, accusing him of electoral crimes, treason, embezzlement and crimes against humanity. The complaint also accused López Obrador of acting illegally for ordering the release of one of Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán’s sons after his arrest triggered a wave of cartel attacks in Culiacán in October 2019.

Also in May, Democratic Revolution Party national president Jesús Zambrano formally accused the president of interfering in the electoral process leading up to the June 6 elections.

National Action Party senators filed a criminal complaint against López Obrador late last year for illicit use of public service after several communities in Tabasco were inundated as a result of a decision to divert floodwaters away from the state capital Villahermosa.

And parents of children with cancer have accused the president and health officials of homicide due to the lack of chemotherapy drugs.

There is nothing to stop the FGR from investigating the accusations as the president’s immunity from prosecution, known as the fuero, was abolished in February.

The FGR is ostensibly independent of the federal government but according to El Universal it has appeared to act on the instructions of the president, or to divert attention from unwanted focus on López Obrador, on at least four occasions.

One case was that of former economy minister Ildefonso Guajardo, who was ordered to stand trial on charges of illicit enrichment after the FGR presented a case against him because he “probably” acquired “an unjustified increase to his wealth” between 2014 and 2018 and couldn’t prove its legal origin.

The FGR’s announcement on July 9 that a judge had ordered Guajardo to stand trial came just hours after a video surfaced showing one of López Obrador’s brothers receiving a large amount of cash from a man who served in the current federal government.

With reports from El Universal 

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