AMLO Proposes New Reform/Advances in Murder InvestigationsBy Paloma Duran | Thu, 04/28/2022 - 13:14
The electoral reform will be sent to Congress today. President López Obrador announced that today he will send his electoral reform to Congress. The reform will soon be analyzed, and debated. “The first issue regarding the reform is the creation of the National Institute of Elections and Consultations. Also, with this new model of electoral authority, both councilors and magistrates will be elected by popular vote. We are fighting for a better democracy and less corruption,” said the president.
The new electoral reform proposes changing 18 articles and inserting 7 transitional ones, seeking to replace the National Electoral Institute (INE), eliminate plurinominal deputies, reduce the number of federal legislators to 300 deputies and 96 senators, as well as implement electronic voting, among other changes. Since López Obrador took office in 2018, he has insisted on the need to remove corruption from INE and the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF) and transform them into true autonomous and democratic institutions. The president said that since the current electoral bodies have failed in their democratic duties, he will send a proposal to Congress to change its members and configuration.
Journalist murders have been linked to one criminal group. Deputy Minister of Security Ricardo Mejia announced that the murder of journalists Margarito Martínez and Lourdes Maldonado were carried out by the same criminal group, a group derived from the Félix Arellano. “It is a criminal group led by a person called Cabo 16. He has been arrested. In both murders the motive was the denouncement of drug traffickers. The responsible and civic action of denouncing these events by Lourdes was the motive for her murder. This same group was also the one that murdered Martínez.”
Yesterday, the Baja California Attorney General's Office announced that it had arrested people involved in the murder of Maldonado and Martínez. In addition, it was reported that significant progress has been made in the investigations. However, these are confidential, for which it is not possible to provide more details.
On Jan. 23, Maldonado was shot and killed inside her car in Tijuana. In 2019, Maldonado requested López Obrador's help because she feared for her life. Previously, Maldonado had worked for the Primer Sistema de Noticias news outlet, owned by former Baja California Gov. Jaime Bonilla. Maldonado had a labor conflict with Bonilla, in which she accused Bonilla of not paying wages. After nine years of litigation, Maldonado won the dispute. Some have linked her murder to the lawsuit. However, now the authorities said that it was the drug traffickers who instructed her murder.
In 2016, Martínez denounced Head of the Municipal Public Security Minister Alejandro Lares for not letting him do his job and threatening him. In addition, he also reported that he had received threats from people linked to organized crime. Despite seeking help, Martínez was killed outside his home on Jan. 17.
Debanhi Escobar's case is classified as femicide. Deputy Minister of Security Ricardo Mejia announced that the case of Debanhi Escobar has been reclassified from disappearance to femicide. In addition, Mejía reported that the Federal Government has already formed an inter-situational team to support the investigations that are being carried out by the Nuevo León Prosecutor's Office. “We have ongoing communication with Debahni's family to update them on our progress and provide comfort. Now we are working with the state government because even though it is their jurisdiction, the Zero Impunity policy allows us to help with investigations.”
Last week, the Secretary of Security and Citizen Protection (SSPC) reported that a body rescued from a water tank in Nuevo Leon matches the description of Escobar, the 18-year-old girl who disappeared on April 9. Debanhi's death has sparked feminist protests across the country, demanding justice in her case and greater security for all women in Mexico. In addition, due to the deficiency and errors in the search for Debhani, the Special Prosecutor's Office for Missing Persons and the Anti-Kidnapping Prosecutor's Office have been dismissed from their positions. Likewise, the work of other people who participated in Debanhi’s search will be investigated to see if there were any inefficiencies.
Violent confrontation at a cement plant in Hidalgo. Deputy Minister of Security Ricardo Mejia reported that 10 people have been arrested after the confrontation at the Cruz Azul plant in Hidalgo. In addition, Mejía stressed that the Ministry is working with state authorities so that there is no impunity. “Yesterday people linked to these criminal acts were arrested by the Municipal Police and the Police of the State of Hidalgo. At all times we were in contact with the Secretary of the Interior and the Hidalgo Attorney General's Office. We will continue to work to clarify the event and hold the perpetrators accountable,” said Mejìa.
Yesterday there was a violent confrontation at the Cruz Azul cement plant in Tula, Hidalgo, between two groups that want to maintain control of the plant and its production. The confrontation began after workers from the “Partner for Transparency” group arrived in several vehicles with the aim of taking over the cement plant. However, the plant was being guarded by the "Group of 20", which opposes the other group and has been accused of corruption. During the confrontation there were detonations of firearms and Molotov cocktails, leaving 8 dead and 11 wounded.