12/14/12 – On December 13, Mexican Supreme Court Chief Justice Juan Silva Meza (Suprema Corte de Justicia de la Nación, SCJN) presented his second annual report to President Enrique Peña Nieto, judicial authorities, and congressional leaders. His speech placed special emphasis on the importance of constitutional reforms for human rights and criminal justice, urging the legislative and executive branches to push through the revised Amparo law. He omitted, however, any reference to the issue of Federal Code of Criminal Procedure reforms.
When addressing the issue of judicial corruption, the Justice took an emphatic stance against the discrediting of judicial officials in his country. The judiciary, he warned, will not tolerate the denigration of its many honest judges, who he described as the majority. In 2012, for example, only four district judges and five circuit judges (Magistrados) were suspended. Justice Silva Meza also alluded to the environment of confrontation and conflict that enveloped the Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) during the last months of the Calderón administration. Brand new Attorney General Jesús Murillo Karam was in attendance during the address.
The ceremony’s audience also included Justices Alfredo Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena and Alberto Gelacio Pérez Dayán, who assumed their positions on December 3, replacing Salvador Aguirre Anguiano and Guillermo Ortiz Mayagoitia after 17 years of service. Pérez Dayán, who replaces Ortiz Mayagoitia, had come close to winning a Supreme Court seat on an earlier occasion, when his name was placed on the first list of three candidates presented by President Felipe Calderón to the Senate. At that time, however, none of the candidates on that list achieved the 77 votes required to take office. During the voting of a second list, however, Pérez Dayán reached 104 votes, and Gutiérrez Ortiz Mena gained the 103 that made him successor to Aguirre Anguiano. As reported by the Justice in Mexico Project in October 16, the submission of that list of candidates to fill the two Supreme Court vacancies was one of the final executive acts of Calderón as president.