Tuesday, April 20

CFE: López Obrador challenges the Judiciary and asks to investigate the judge who stopped the electricity reform


The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during a press conference.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, during a press conference.MEXICO’S PRESIDENCY / Reuters

Andrés Manuel López Obrador has taken another step on Monday in his defense of the electricity reform that crosses the border of interference in judicial decisions. The president of Mexico has sent a letter to the president of the Supreme Court of Justice, Arturo Zaldívar, to formally request an investigation from the judge who last week temporarily suspended the application of the new law that regulates the supply of electricity. The decision of Juan Pablo Gómez Fierro, head of the Second District Court in Administrative Matters, came hours after the reform came into force by admitting the resource of a photovoltaic park. López Obrador wants to show that he is not willing to give in on an issue that he considers political rather than legal and decided to challenge the Judiciary.

The president read the letter sent to Zaldívar during his morning press conference. “In a respectful manner and in observance of the principle of separation of powers, I request that the Council over which you preside determine and report whether or not the aforementioned judicial authority was entitled to apply informally to those who did not request it and whether it is within its competence or not to decide on this case ”, reads the letter, which goes further and demands an investigation of the judge’s actions. “Likewise, and if my request is legally appropriate, I request that the Judicial Council carry out an investigation to clarify the actions of Judge Gómez Fierro in this episode,” he continues.

The president of the Court had already ruled publicly on the case this weekend. His words, disseminated on social networks, sound like a response in advance and make it clear that he will not accept interference or requests that deteriorate the separation of powers. “Federal judges act independently and autonomously. The Federal Judicial Council guarantees that they can exercise their function with absolute freedom. Their rulings can be appealed, but always respected from the point of view of judicial independence ”, he stated.

For the president, who made the electricity reform a personal bet, it is all part of a political battle. The strengthening of a state company, the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE), against private initiative, the substance of the new law, is political. And their defense is also a political trench. López Obrador himself recognized it during his appearance. “It is not only the legal, it is the political,” he said. And he added that “before these matters did not transcend”, but that the rulers always interfered in the courts.

The letter contains a deep ideological charge in which, at the cost of reiterating his message of breaking with the past, the president ends up attacking companies, businessmen, the former minister of the Court José Ramón Cossío, a columnist for this newspaper, or Claudio X. González , founder of the organization Mexicanos contra la Corrupción. He accuses the press of being behind what he calls “corporate interests.” And he makes serious accusations without providing evidence.

“I do not omit to tell you that people, organizations and companies related to the old regime act around this matter”, writes López Obrador, “who based on their well-known economic and political interests had as modus operandi corruption and influentialism, which have seriously affected the public finances and the economy of the majority of Mexicans, especially the poorest. I am referring, among others, to foreign electricity companies such as Iberdrola de España, which added a former Secretary of Energy of the Federal Government and the former President of Mexico, Felipe Calderón, to its payroll. This class of corporate interests, which have the support of the national and foreign pro-business press, has formed a call for legal bureau to oppose the works, actions and policies that we have undertaken for the transformation of the country ”.

The main argument in defense of the electricity reform that gives priority to the supply to the CFE is the lowering of the electricity bill for consumers. It will be so because that part of the supply will have subsidies, however, the new energy distribution scheme will have a worrying economic and environmental impact, according to dozens of experts and analysts have been denouncing for months. But this law is now also an ammunition of the Government, in some way the epitome of its ideology, in the middle of the electoral campaign of the federal and local elections of June 6.

In this context, López Obrador does not hesitate to charge against those he considers his adversaries. The letter uses offensive names and refers to a “conservative and reactionary grouping.” Among the names that appear in the letter is Claudio X. González, whom the president calls “a pseudo defender of civil society, but in reality a beneficiary, along with his family, of the privatization policy imposed by the Government of Carlos Salinas de Gortari ”. He also points out the former Supreme Court minister José Ramón Cossío, who expressed his concern about the attacks: “I heard what the president said in his morning lecture. I am concerned about his decontextualized and partial statements about me. But even more so, his misunderstanding of the rule of law. The judges are the final guarantors of the Constitution ”. In addition, Cossío supported López Obrador’s energy consultation when he was in the opposition.

The president, who once again attacked EL PAÍS, affirmed that the purpose of the letter is to generate debate. However, the gesture cost him criticism from lawyers and opponents. The letter seeks to strike a balance between respect for the independence of judges and the government’s demands for justice, but López Obrador goes so far as to say that “it would be unfortunate that after all the damage that the oligarchy has caused the country, we continue to allow abuse and arrogance under the excuse of the rule of law ”. Considering it an “excuse”, he announces that he will not renounce to exercise his “powers as president” and “freedoms as a citizen.”

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