The Article 19 organization noted that holding the hearings of former Pemex Director Emilio Lozoya behind closed doors “violates the principle of transparency and maximum publicity recognized in the Constitution”.
On Wednesday, the Federal Judiciary Council (CJF) reported that the former officer’s hearing would be private due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
It added that the information about the session would be provided only through a chat of the WhatsApp messaging service to which some media have access.
Lee: Audience of Emilio Lozoya will be deprived by COVID pandemic; information will be given to media by WhatsApp
The organization that advocates for freedom of expression and the right to information, stressed that while they must maintain measures due to the health emergency, “there are tools to ensure maximum publicity and transparency in audiences that will be held, such as live broadcasts across platforms.”
Although the National Criminal Code of Criminal Procedures states that hearings must be public, with access to interested parties and any citizen, the CJF suspended public hearings from 17 March for the health emergency without offering any alternatives to follow them, until now that, in the case of the former Pemex director, it reported that information would be provided via Whatsapp, albeit only to accredited journalists.
? Conducting #EmlilioLozoya hearings behind closed doors violates the principle of transparency and maximum publicity recognized in the constitution. We remind the @CJF_Mx that trials for acts of corruption must be public in accordance with Article 20 of the CPEUM.
— ARTICLE 19 MX-CA (@article19mex) July 17, 2020
The organization explained that the Mexican Constitution determines in article 20 that judicial processes will be governed by the principles of publicity, contradiction, concentration, continuity and immediacy.
“The right to information must be guaranteed, especially in cases of high public interest. Lack of accountability, transparency and publicity in acts of authorities can directly affect rights such as freedom of expression and the right to information.”
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