08/31/12 – The Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) requested an arrest order for federal judges Martín Adolfo Santos Pérez and Osvaldo López García and two clerks, due to their refusal to issue a search warrant for the house of fellow federal judge Efraín López Cázares. López Cázares was responsible for releasing a number of Michoacán public officials who were accused in 2009 of links to organized crime and drug trafficking via La Familia Michoacana, a case better known in Mexico as “Michoacanazo.” However, on August 24, Federal Judge Ricardo Delgado refused to order the arrests of colleagues Santos and López García arguing that the PGR did not prove the judges hampered the investigation against López Cázares.
Despite López Cázares’ search warrant being initially denied by judges Santos Pérez and López García, Attorney General Marisela Morales reported that an upper court later overturned this, ruling there was indeed sufficient evidence to proceed. Morales announced that the PGR conducted raids at properties connected to López Cázares and reiterated the PGR’s commitment to justice by ensuring that there is no persecution of any kind against federal judges by her agency, referring to the arrest warrants requested for Santos Pérez and López García.
In a statement issued at the reception of the Third Regional Meeting of the Full Council (Tercera Reunión Regional del Pleno) of the Federal Judicial Council (Consejo de la Judicatura Federal, CJF), a gathering this month of 240 judges and magistrates in Guadalajara, Jalisco, the CJF said that it will continue to defend the judges who are pressured or unduly persecuted for doing their job when in accordance with the law. According to Juan Silva Meza, president of the Supreme Court of Justice (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN) and of the CJF, “using reason and law, [they] will denounce and combat any attempt to undermine the independence and autonomy of the judges of the Federation, especially when sufficient evidence and support are not presented.”