Sunday, May 19, 2024

LeBarón: attorney general asked for public’s help to pressure lawmakers

Mexico’s justice system leaves citizens “defenseless” against crime, according to a relative of the nine members of the Mormon family murdered in Sonora in November.

After a meeting with federal Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero, anti-violence activist Julian LeBarón said in a radio interview that “it seems that laws protect criminals more” than citizens.

He also said that Gertz Manero asked him and other members of his family to issue a call for citizens to join forces to pressure lawmakers to change existing laws to build a stronger law enforcement and justice system.

“The attorney general told us that they have serious problems in the whole country, he told us that 33 million crimes were committed in 2019 and that the laws don’t give police the instruments to do their job,” LeBarón said.

“[He told us] that we need to organize social pressure so that we get the tools, the powers, that they need to bring criminals to justice,” he added.

LeBarón, who called on citizens to “take up the battle” against organized crime at an anti-violence rally in Mexico City last month, said that Gertz Manero described crime as “a serious problem” that successive governments haven’t been able to stop.

He added that the attorney general said that “the underlying laws” of the justice system – which was overhauled during the administrations of the past two federal governments but has been plagued by problems – need to be changed.

“A lot needs to be done but if he [Gertz Manero] is asking us for help, he’s confirming what we said: the political class won’t provide the solution . . . they haven’t given us the instruments so that the citizens can defend life, we’re left defenseless with the justice system,” LeBarón said.

He also called for the Chihuahua government to be investigated in connection with the massacre of three women and six children in Bavispe, Sonora, on November 4 because police from that state were in the area but didn’t respond to the attack.

Chihuahua Attorney General César Augusto Peniche refuted LeBarón’s claim, replying that state police did attend the scene of the crime.

“We have evidence that they did arrive . . .with Federal Police officers [stationed] in Chihuahua,” he said.

Seven people have been arrested in connection with the attack allegedly perpetrated by La Línea, a criminal gang with links to the Juárez Cartel.

One of the suspects is the chief of police of Janos, Chihuahua, who was taken into custody in late December.

Investigations have led authorities to believe that Fidel Alejandro Villegas Villegas could be an active element in the La Línea gang and that through his influence and staff he procured protection for members of the organization.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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