Will Peña Nieto be left without his protective blanket?

With the approved constitutional reform, the president will no longer be sheltered under certain defense laws

Will Peña Nieto be left without his protective blanket?

The Chamber of Deputies removed the immunity presidency, now the president of the nation can be judged as any citizen. But not only the next president will be affected by this decision, the initiative eliminates the procedural immunity of secretaries of state, governors, deputies, senators, magistrates and local offices while they are in office or after finishing their term. The document must now be approved by the Senate and by at least 17 of the 32 state congresses in the country.

Leer en español: ¿Peña Nieto se quedará sin su manta protectora?

With this decision history, the people who hold the aforementioned positions will be subject to the same procedural conditions as any Mexican citizen for the commission of a crime, except preventive detention. Even so, an official can only be his outlaw of his position only when his sentence is signed and disclosed.

"Mexicans have rightly claimed that justice does not treat all citizens equally," said deputy Francisco Martínez Neri, of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD). The demand for this change intensified during the presidential term of Enrique Peña Nieto, after the scandals exposed, where the diversion of public money from ex-governors has become a constant. "The reality is that they had to spend several decades for the government to realize the social claim and change the charter," said Martinez Neri.

Draws attention to the decision, which legislators from all parties approved the initiative. A total of 370 deputies of the 500 that make up the legislative body said yes to the modification of 8 constitutional articles. It was the PRI, the party in the executive and who has control of the two chambers of Congress, who finally decided to push the initiative of the jurisdiction.

Where does that immunity come from?

Originally, the charter was established in the Constitution as a guarantee for lawmakers to express their opinions without fear of imprisonment, and was imposed at a time when partisan clashes were strong and even feared for life. Then it was extended to protect all their actions while in office, protecting them from being detained by the police or facing trial. The immunity was later extended to governors, mayors, judges, officials or ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), as an initiative to protect them and promote good acting while they held the office chair. But his protection always culminated at the end of his period. The case of the President of the Republic was different, since he always had immunity, and could only be prosecuted if he committed a common crime or betrayed the fatherland.

If the reform approved by the deputies is enacted before December 1st, the next president of Mexico will be the first to have no immunity in history.

But this law will not be retroactive, and therefore no person can be detained or tried with new legislation. In this way the outgoing president, Enrique Peña Nieto, will be sheltered by the presidential immunity and will be the last to possess it.


Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Translated from "Peña Nieto se quedó sin su manta protectora"

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