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Admiral Ojeda Admiral Ojeda: 'We have good judges but we also have problems.'

Navy chief apologizes for calling judges enemies of the state

Minister makes public apology three months after his controversial statement

Almost three months after describing the judicial branch of government as an enemy of the state, navy chief José Rafael Ojeda offered a public apology for his remarks on Wednesday.

Speaking at President López Obrador’s morning press conference on May 21, Ojeda declared that it seemed the judiciary was the enemy of the state in many organized crime cases because it had freed many suspected criminals, especially alleged drug traffickers.   

Yesterday he apologized for his comments at a criminal justice system workshop at which judges including Supreme Court Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar were in attendance.

“… I want to make a public apology to those who deserve it because there are good judges and good attorney general’s offices, and there is good social justice,” the navy minister said.

“But we also have certain problems within this branch [of government],” he added.

Ojeda also said that the navy is committed to working with other Mexicans institutions, including the judiciary, to combat problems that the nation faces.

“We want to open the bridge of communication toward a multilateral dialogue that allows us to work in close collaboration [with other institutions],” he said.

“… We want to understand them but we also want them to understand us. … In addition to receiving this judicial system training, we want to be given the opportunity to allow you to understand our conduct in the military field, why it is necessary to maintain discipline, loyalty and duty, why we must be as we are,” Ojeda said.

For his part, Zaldívar asserted that the various institutions of the Mexican state are not at odds with each other but rather working together toward a common goal.

“The different authorities and institutions of the Mexican state are not opposed to each other. We have the same aim, we’re on the same side. We have different roles and responsibilities but not conflicting ones,” he said.

“…  I have no doubt that [the] constructive dialogue and [mutual] trust that we have strengthened, not just at an institutional level but also at a personal one, will allow us to move toward a fairer and freer country, in peace and harmony,” the chief justice said.

“I thank Admiral Rafael Ojeda for his kind public apology to the federal judicial power. … We will continue to favor institutional dialogue for the benefit of the people of Mexico,” Zaldívar subsequently remarked on Twitter.

With reports from El Universal 

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