Sunday, February 5, 2023

Involuntary manslaughter case sparks debate in Mexico

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – A Christmas Eve street vendor’s death of tamales in a town near the Mexican capital has sparked a heated debate about why suspects can walk out of jail despite their involvement in the incidents. are equivalent to slaughter.

A driver, possibly intoxicated, ran over Jorge Claudio while he was wheeling a tamale tricycle through a neighborhood on the northern outskirts of Mexico City. The driver was arrested after fleeing from the spot, but was let off after agreeing to pay damages.

The accident was captured in a video, which was broadcast by local media, in which an expensive Mini Cooper vehicle is seen, taking a turn at high speed, taking away the tricycle that Claudio was driving, whose He died on the spot. It was not clear whether the suspect had a lawyer.

This enraged the aggrieved family and protested. The scandal is reminiscent of the March 2021 disaster when a Mexico City metro line collapsed due to a construction defect, killing 26 people. Several former officers have been charged with murder in that case, but none have been jailed.

The victim’s son, Jorge Claudio López, said in a statement: “My father’s killer should, out of obligation, take charge of compensation, but he should also be behind bars because a murder is a murder, whether he was drunk or not.” ” ,

Demanding justice for his father’s death, the son said, “It seems in this world they think all you want is money, when it is not, I want my father back.”

The case reinforced the widely held belief that people who are rich, powerful or politically connected receive preferential treatment from Mexico’s antiquated and corrupt legal system.

Security analyst David Saucedo said, “In Mexico, high-level politicians, businessmen, high-ranking military … they are shielded,” adding that “the justice system allows people who have influence or have economic power, who have bargaining preference”.

Part of the problem is that hit-and-runs have become commonplace, and such cases are rarely handled as stand-alone crimes in Mexico. Plus the fact that Mexican law requires very small damages, even if someone is murdered.

While civil lawsuits can serve as a deterrent, damages can be paid as little as $5,000 or $10,000, and even when the subway collapsed, a highly publicized case in which the government was clearly responsible, victims Families received an amount equal to $100,000.

Security expert Alejandro Hope said, “It seems to me that civil lawsuits are a more powerful deterrent,” arguing that what is needed is reparations, “not more people in jail.”

But Hope acknowledges that Mexico’s alternative or restorative justice system is not ready yet. Poor families, such as tamale sellers, can organize marches, but few can afford to hire lawyers and file lawsuits.

“Trying to solve this issue through criminal law and it doesn’t work,” Hope said, acknowledging that “there is no alternative route to civil litigation for people with low resources.” Huh.”

Nation World News Desk
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