The publication of the preliminary report on the Ayotzinapa Case to clarify the disappearance of the 43 normalistas from Ayotzinapa received so much criticism because the alternate truth of the government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador was the same in the main -the death of the students at the hands of Guerreros Unidos- to the historical truth of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto, that Alejandro Encinas, Undersecretary of the Interior and head of the Truth Commission in charge of the case, took the name of Colonel José Rodríguez out of his hat days later and accused him of the murder of six young people. Frustrated by the reproaches, he upped his ante.
Encinas has always thought that the Army was responsible for that crime he called “state crime,” and releasing Rodríguez’s name and accusing him of homicide, perhaps he believed, would show that his work had indeed led to a different port. Seen in the foreground, it is true, but seen from different angles, he opened a conflict with the Armed Forces that will only be overcome if he supports with evidence that his accusations were legal and solid. Otherwise, the setback will not only be for Encinas, but for the government itself, opening the possibility that the much-cited report will fall apart.
Rodríguez, now a retired general, was the head of the 27th Infantry Battalion, based in Iguala, on the night of September 26, 2014 when the normalistas disappeared, and last Wednesday he turned himself in to his superior authorities at Military Camp Number 1 to face the accusation of Encinas that, he said at the time, was a lie. Rodríguez immediately began his defense and last week he filed a direct protection claim against the Undersecretary before a judge in Mexico City, where he emphasizes that he did not participate in the criminal acts of which he is accused.
The general resumed the presentation of the report and the conference in the morning at the National Palace on August 26 in front of President López Obrador, as well as an interview on August 28 on the program “Voces Públicas” hosted by the president of the Public Broadcasting System. of the Government on Channel 14, Jenaro Villamil, where he reiterated the conclusions of the document and the intervention of the Mexican Army in the disappearance of the normalistas.
“As of these moments and as a direct consequence of the incriminating remarks made by a high-ranking authority, the opinion of society was influenced and prejudiced against me, and I began to be publicly accused of being responsible for criminal acts in which I had no intervention,” he said. “All this without the continuation of a trial by an authority truly competent (the emphasis is from the author of the column) in the investigation of crimes and in their prosecution”.
“The media and political pressure generated in this case is obvious,” he added, including as evidence a series of information published on paper and digital platforms, collecting his accusations. “The illicit accusations of an authority (Undersecretary of State) that does not receive constitutional powers of criminal investigation (the emphasis is from the author of the column), they deprive me of due process and publicly stigmatize me as guilty, since I am treated irregularly in a manner contrary to my human right of presumption of innocence.”
The amparo claim has two far-reaching aspects. One is the particular one, directly against Encinas, for alleged violations of the human rights of General Rodríguez, and the other, where it harms the government and the specific case, by having usurped Encinas functions that are outside his powers and legal powers as Undersecretary of the Interior, especially what is established in article 21 of the Constitution, which establishes that the investigation of crimes corresponds solely and exclusively to the Public Ministry and the police.
The President has the power to create commissions by decree, such as the Truth Commission, but according to the Organic Law of the Federal Public Administration, the conclusions reached by these commissions are not binding. Encinas, it is understood, exceeded. “The political power held by the head of a Secretary or Undersecretary of State is very broad, even more so that of the Interior, which has historically been erected as an extension of the figure of the President of the Republic,” Rodríguez added in his lawsuit. “For this reason, when one of its holders usurps ministerial functions, his actions outside all legal and constitutional channels, generate an immediate specter of mistrust around the information of the investigation.”
If the judge rules in favor of the general, the conclusion will disqualify the Commission’s report, as it was built on illegalities. According to Rodríguez, Encinas violated five fundamental rights: the right to a prior hearing, security and legal certainty; that of due process and an adequate defense; that of the presumption of innocence; that of having access to a competent and impartial judge, and the right to truth, objectivity and legality in the context of the provision of public information to citizens by the authorities.
Encinas violated articles 14, 16, 20 and 21 of the Constitution, according to the lawsuit, as well as article 14 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. “The responsible authority has violated each and every one of the postulates, since the right to an adequate defense has been annulled to my detriment,” said Rodríguez, for the corrupting effectthe doctrine formulated by the president of the Supreme Court, Arturo Zaldívar, in the case of Florence Cassez, which violates the principle of the presumption of innocence.
The Undersecretary for Human Rights must respond to the lawsuit to demonstrate that what he did does not contravene his functions and powers. He faces a difficult situation, because it is not the first time that he breaks the law to suit his interests. The lawsuit will now be on his court, and we will see his arguments to avoid the collapse of the Ayotzinapa Case.