Six judges from Nayarit allegedly participated in a corruption scheme that resulted in 40,000 people being wrongfully dispossessed of their homes in at least seven states between 2013 and 2018.
According to the Nayarit Attorney General’s office, four judges and two magistrates in three municipalities – Xalisco, Compostela and Bahía de Banderas – handed down fraudulent foreclosure rulings against homeowners who acquired mortgages through the National Workers’ Housing Fund (Infonavit).
Those believed to have been unjustly forced out of their homes lived in Nayarit, Chihuahua, Tamaulipas, Zacatecas, Sonora, Sinaloa and Jalisco.
A law firm, a notary and court officials are also accused of involvement in the scheme.
Nayarit Attorney General Petronilo Díaz Ponce said the judges’ allegedly illegal conduct occurred in two phases.
Between 2013 and 2015, judges in Xalisco and Compostela issued thousands of foreclosure orders based on fabricated evidence presented by an unnamed law firm, Díaz said, adding that the homeowners affected by the rulings were not notified nor were they summoned to appear in court.
He explained that personnel from the same law firm later filed the foreclosure papers at Nayarit’s Supreme Court with officials who were allegedly complicit with the scheme.
After homes were taken from the purported defaulters, they were resold at 75% of their market value and in every transaction the deeds were drawn up by the same notary, the attorney general said.
In the second stage of the scheme, the same law firm again presented fabricated evidence supporting foreclosure applications, only this time it was to two allegedly corrupt judges in Bucerías, a coastal town 10 kilometers north of Nuevo Vallarta.
The Nayarit Attorney General’s office has sought a declaration from the state Congress in order to proceed with the case, which will be analyzed this week by the legislature’s justice and human rights committee.
To prosecute the judges, Congress will have to approve a removal of impunity, a process known as desafuero.
Díaz is also seeking assistance from the federal Attorney General’s office (PGR) and has already furnished it with a copy of files relevant to the investigation.
The department he heads said that the crimes of which the judges and their alleged co-conspirators could be accused include fraud, influence peddling, criminal association, abuse of power, bribery and embezzlement.
Source: El Universal (sp)