On Wednesday, journalist Denisse Dresser attended the morning conference of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, with whom he discussed the sentence against Sergio Aguayo, another journalist, who was ordered by a judge to pay 10 million pesos for moral damage to the detriment of the former governor of Coahuila and former leader of the PRI, Humberto Moreira Valdes.
“I’m here by Sergio Aguayo, a well-off man judicially harassed by former PRI Governor Humberto Moreira, but his case transcends him, he plays the freedom to give his opinion, to question and disagree with everyone, a judge of the cdmx wants to force him to pay 10 million to write a critical opinion of Moreira, like the many that you expressed when you were an opposition leader ” , The journalist said during the conference.
Yesterday, journalist Sergio Aguayo announced that Judge 16 of the Civil, Francisco Castillo Gonzalez, authorized to seize the assets of the academic and columnist, while the Judge of the Sixth Civil Chamber of the Superior Court of Justice of Mexico City (TSJ -CdMx), Delia Rosey Puebla, He set a guarantee for 450,000 pesos, to suspend a sentence for the sum of 10 million pesos, so that his assets were not seized.
Dresser questioned the Mexican president’s claims that “the worst practices” related to censorship of journalists “were over,” and reproached his government for promoting judicial reforms that would mean limiting freedom of expression.
“You promised that the worst practices were over, but a few days ago work documents were leaked from the Attorney General’s Office, where a series of reforms are proposed to continue harassing a journalist, including reviving defamation as a crime that could be punished with jail, something that had already been eliminated after the case of Lydia Cacho for denouncing pederasty and corruption, ”said the journalist.
“You here in front of us and the country, do you agree that your government, your party, your movement will not push laws that will allow journalists to be harassed and persecute people who do not think like you? Do you agree not to He will use the state apparatus to persecute a person as it would sometimes seem to happen from this platform, ”asked Dresser.
Lopez Obrador responded to the journalist that “he regrets that he is confused”, and denied that he or his administration is carrying out reforms that go against freedom of expression.
“I’m very sorry Denisse that you confuse me with the previous rulers. For starters, what you say is not true, I have nothing to do with the supposed reform, the attorney general, if it is true, is autonomous, I think you do know that, and it is not the time before , of the simulation, I am not used to throw the stone and hide the hand, I give the face ... In the case of Moreira del PRI, Calderon del PAN, I am just going to give a piece of information, who exonerates Moreira is Calderon. The prosecutor does it, ”he said at a conference.”
At the insistence of Denise Dresser on committing not to persecute journalists, the president said:
“Yes, by conviction, of course, but also the power to present reform initiatives corresponds to the president, the head of the Executive and legislators, our adversaries who believe that we are the same as the rulers of other times, made a scandal […] we have the commitment to guarantee freedom of expression, the manifestation of ideas, the right to dissent, we come from a movement where we face authoritarianism and denounce, ”he emphasized.
Dresser said he will return to the ‘morning’ on February 1 to know his position in case prosecutor Alejandro Gertz Manero presents reforms to criminalize journalists.
Why Humberto Moreira sued Sergio Aguayo
The former governor and expriista, Humberto Moreira, filed the lawsuit against the journalist Sergio Aguayo in June 2016, after Aguayo published in the newspaper Reforma, when the former official was imprisoned in Spain, a column in which he said that the political career de Moreira “smelled” of corruption and was an example of impunity.
“He is a politician who gives off (a) corrupt stench; that in the best of scenarios he was ignored before terrible human rights violations committed in Coahuila, and that, finally, he is a bearer of the renowned Mexican impunity, ”he wrote then.
According to the statement of Moreira, the column of the journalist “offended, insulted, slandered”, undermining his “feelings, affections, beliefs, decorum, reputation, as well as the consideration that others have for me.” Therefore, He demanded that Aguayo give him at least 10 million pesos to “mitigate moral damage.”
The lawsuit was developed while Aguayo was conducting an investigation into the crimes committed by Los Zetas in Allende and Piedras Negras during the mandate of Moreira (2005-2011), so he considered that the sole purpose of this was to intimidate.
Also at the time he denounced that during the first six months in which the litigation took place, the judge who led the matter granted to the lawyers of the former governor all his requests. It was until February 2017, thanks to complaints that he filed before the capital’s Judicial Power, that the case passed to the 16th civil judge, Francisco Castillo Gonzalez, who ruled in favor of Aguayo, in April last year.
“My case shows that the methods of harassment of journalists in Mexico not only consist of death threats, but also judicial harassment. Many colleagues, especially from outside the capital, have not been as lucky as me and have even had to mortgage their house to meet the costs of the trial, ”he said in an interview.
Aguayo said this legal fight had cost him more than 400,000 pesos until then, even though the law firm that represented him did so without charging him. However, yesterday he had to pay another 450,000 pesos as collateral, to suspend the order of seizure of assets authorized by Judge 16 of the Civil, Francisco Castillo Gonzalez, who sentenced the journalist to pay the 10 million pesos to Moreira.
On October 12, Aguayo said he would promote the protection against the lawsuit filed by Moreira, in which it was determined that he would pay 10 million pesos. Also, at that time, the teacher also said which will continue to investigate the violence that occurred in that entity during the administration of the former PRI.
The federal government prepared a package of reforms to the justice system, offered that it would seek to avoid the revolving door for criminals, promote civic justice through community service and stop violence since it germinates.
On January 15, the legal counsel of the Presidency, Julio Scherer, and the attorney general of the Republic (FGR), Alejandro Gertz ManeroThey outlined the proposals for an opinion that they formally submitted on February 1, when the session begins in the Senate of the Republic.
“We see Mexico with a problem of violence that we have not been able to fix and that requires a new norm for the prosecution of crimes, so we are going to propose, in agreement with the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) and the Secretariat of Government (Segob), a National Law of Civic Justice, a National Criminal Code, a draft of the National Code of Criminal Procedures, a Code of Criminal Enforcement, a Justice System for Adolescents. This aims to form a new penal code and outline the new justice system we want for our country, ”said Scherer.
Alejandro Gertz Manero, Attorney General of the Republic, admitted that all the reforms that have been made have only generated more problems, so he proposed to stop the crime since it is a “germ.”
“If you see the amount of reforms and laws that have been made in the last 20 years in this area, you would be surprised. Why? Because the number that has been made is such, as the number of problems that have multiplied. It means that does not work. In view of all this, we have the absolute conviction that crime and security have to stop at the moment they are a germ, at the moment the problem begins; the problem begins in the daily life of each one of us, ”he argued.
That day they only presented the purposes of the reform, since the law initiatives and the draft decrees that circulated profusely among legislative advisers were not delivered, among which was the one that proposes a criminal reform, which experts say would criminalize the freedom of expression of Mexicans by reliving crimes such as injury, slander, defamation and offense against institutions.
Leopoldo Maldonado, deputy director of Article 19 in Mexico, warned that these crimes, which have been decriminalized at the federal level and in most states since 2006, are again typified in a single Criminal Code, an initiative awarded to the Attorney General’s Office (FGR) whose draft circulated among advisers to senators.
Days after the draft reforms were filtered, the FGR ignored the authorship of the project of legal reforms that has been attributed to it and that proposes measures such as the extension of householding to all crimes and the criminalization of defamation.