Proposal to have “faceless judges” in Mexico in an attempt to protect them from el Narco
The National Commission for Human Rights has requested the analysis that was used in Italy, Colombia, and Peru to protect judges.
With the objective of protecting Judges in Mexico, the spokesperson for the National Commission for
Human Rights has recommended studying the possibility of implementing the “faceless judge” program.
The suggesting came three days after the murder of Judge Vicente Antonio Bermudez that was killed in the middle of the street in the municipality of Metepec. Judge Vicente Bermudez is the judge responsible for hearing high profile cases such as those of El Chapo, and several key figures from Los Zetas, this according to Excelsior.
The president of the National Commission for Human Rights, Luis Raul Gonzalez Perez justified the proposal by stating, “It’s a mechanism that has to be evaluated. Indeed, judges have to be provided with all types of security so that they can carryout their duties with impartiality.”
Next week, the Revolutionary Democratic Party (PRD) will present an initiative to institute this program in Mexico. According to the PRD parliament coordinator, Miguel Barbosa, “the murder of the judge in Mexico State who presided over several cases related to organized crime, is an example of how exposed the judicial authorities are in Mexico.”
The faceless judges originated in Peru during the 90’s as a result of the state’s war against the Shining Path guerilla group. After Peru, this program was also implemented in Colombia with the purpose of guaranteeing the security of judges that were involved in cases related to the FARC or narcos. This program was also used in Italy after the murder of Judges Giovanni Falcone and Pablo Borcellino in 1992.
State of Emergency
However, members of the very same Mexican Judicial Power told Milenio that the challenge would be to accept that the country is currently living under a State of Emergency such as when the previously mentioned countries were at the time when they implemented this program. Additionally, they also clarified that this is not a new proposal and that it was brought up during the Calderon presidency (2006-2012). Members of the Judicial Power recommended analyzing the proposal “with much caution.”
According to Excelsior, at its moment in Mexico, it was considered that it was enough to rotate the judges and provide them with security. And that it would be beneficial not to know the identity of the judges once they preside over a case.
Criticism in Peru
Even in Peru, the implementation of the “faceless judges” was criticized. In 1996, the United Nations Rapporteur recommended that the Government eliminate the system. A columnist of Peru21 newspaper recalled that the measure caused the release of 500 innocent people that have been convicted by faceless judges. “The truth is that they became machines of approval of the investigations by the police and district attorneys,” this according to columnist Carlos Tapia.
Note From Chuck: Do you think that implementing a "faceless judge" program in Mexico, where judges become anonymous, is a good idea? Or do you think that this is a dangerous idea that will eventually be abused as it was the case in Peru when 500 people were proven to be innocent? Please comment below and tell us your thoughts.