The federal judge responsible for the criminal proceedings against Rosario Robles decided yesterday, once again, to maintain the measure of preventive detention against the former official with three reasons: that she did not reveal from the beginning the houses in which she lived in the past, that her defender contradicted herself on the reason for a trip abroad that she made before being summoned, and that their lawyers said they did not have a document that had been given to them.
These arguments led the judge to conclude that doubts persist about whether Robles could ever escape, and in that scenario, he considered that the prudent thing to do is for him to continue in preventive detention. With this, it is already the seventh time that the former official is denied the possibility of regaining her freedom.
Currently the former head of Sedesol and Sedatu has already exceeded the period of two years that the law contemplates as a maximum so that a person can be in preventive detention without having received a sentence.
Robles’ defense told Animal Político that beyond the appeal they will file for this new resolution, they will present a new amparo in which they will accuse the judge of presenting arguments that do not really justify the need to continue keeping her inside a regular prison.
“The judge never really explained why Rosario can’t escape from a jail, but he can escape from a home where he would have surveillance or a bracelet. He didn’t clarify about that. He dedicated himself to strengthening the idea of preventive detention that he already had without making another weighting of alternative measures as ordered by the amparo that we had won,” said lawyer Epigmenio Mendieta.
Read: Judge Violated Constitution to Leave Rosario Robles Imprisoned: Federal Court
It should be noted that article 155 of the National Code of Criminal Procedure provides for a total of 14 different options for precautionary measures for a person subject to criminal proceedings, all of which must be justified. Pre-trial detention is the most serious measure – as it involves imprisoning a person who remains innocent – and its application must, according to the law, be exceptional.
Mariana Moguel, the daughter of the former official and who yesterday went to the prison, although she was not allowed to enter the hearing, recalled that her mother has not been proven any crime and regretted that “there is no even floor” in all cases, in clear allusion to the privileged treatment that other former officials have received in corruption cases such as Emilio Lozoya.
The Three Key Arguments
The Council of the Federal Judiciary (CJF) reported last night that, after the three-hour hearing held behind closed doors, Judge Ganther Alejandro Villar considered that a “high risk of flight” of the former official prevails even though it was she who voluntarily came to appear since the initial hearings of August 2019.
The CJF did not detail what were the reasoning that led the judge to reach that conclusion but, according to what the defense said after leaving the hearing, there were three key points in which I support “doubts” about what the former official could do if she is released.
One of those arguments is that at the initial hearing Robles’ then-lawyer, Julio Hernández, said that his client had made a trip to Costa Rica to attend a forum, but three days later and in the continuation of that hearing he pointed out that the trip was on vacation.
The judge’s second argument is that the former official did not reveal, in an initial hearing, that she had three different addresses in the city. This, the judge said, should have been done even though she later explained that these were houses she no longer lived in.
And the third point is related to a trade in which the National Center for Planning, Analysis and Information (CENAPI) reported that Robles had two different driver’s licenses. Although it was ultimately confirmed that one of those licenses was false and the former official did not process it, for the judge it is still significant that the lawyers who represented her in 2019 said they did not have a copy of that document, when in fact they had been given.
Read: It is false that I do not want to cooperate with authorities, says Rosario Robles two years after his arrest
For the current defender of Robles, Epigmenio Mendieta, these reasons in no way justify the need to apply a precautionary measure to the former official, and less the most extreme of all that is preventive detention.
“The judge again used arguments that were already overcome. There are arguments such as that he did not provide addresses in which he lived in another era that seem derisory to me. We are going to fight this decision by all the legal means we have at our disposal,” the litigant said.
On the possibility of subjecting Robles to house arrest even wearing an electronic bracelet, the CJF reported yesterday that the judge had dismissed this idea on the grounds that “it would provide him with the means to leave the territory,” without giving further details.
The defense of the former head of Sedesol and Sedatu said that, in reality, there was no further reasoning on this point nor was the possibility of applying a different precautionary measure seriously considered.
They don’t treat my mother the same as others: Moguel
Upon leaving the hearing, Mariana Moguel, daughter of Rosario Robles, described as “disproportionate and far from all reality” the arguments of Judge Villar Ceballos that, she said, prevented justice in the case, despite the resolutions of three magistrates and a Collegiate Court to reconsider the precautionary measures.
“Today we see again that an innocent woman returns to prison and all I ask for is an even floor as we have asked all the time. We will resort to everything that is necessary, both legally and raising our voice so that my mother has the right she has to carry out her process in freedom,” he said.
Surrounded by her family, who waited for the three hours that the hearing lasted outside the courthouse, Moguel said that her mother “has been a woman of one piece, who does not lend herself to circuses, to narratives far from the truth like others who are free, walking and in their homes with their families.”
That is why, he said, this resolution is not only about the case of Rosario Robles, but “because of the thousands of people who believed in the judiciary and who once again see disproportionate elements.”
In his case, he explained, to meet the expenses of the judicial process, he sold his apartment, but “let’s think about the women and men who do not have economic resources for a legitimate defense. Today my cause is Rosario, but it is also justice and also that of my family. And for my mother, as far as I can, because I go with her to the end.”
Read: Four years after diversions, FGR goes against 3 universities for Master Scam; former rector of Morelos remains at large
Thanking the media for reporting everything that has happened in robles’ trial, he referred to these two years in which his mother has been in prison as “a nightmare that, as a daughter, as a family and as friends, has us completely broken inside, that we have to rebuild every day.”
Only Robles, his defense, the lawyers of the Public Ministry and the Superior Audit of the Federation entered the hearing, but the public and the family of the accused were not allowed to enter. Her daughter was in the building while the hearing was taking place, but learned of the resolution before it ended, which she said was another violation of her mother’s rights.
“I was in there, the hearing had not concluded and I found out thanks to the media, I understand that by a leak. The hearing concluded at 8 p.m. and the leak was given at 7:36 p.m., which is a lack of respect and one more violation of the many systematic violations that we have been living for two years, two months, seven days in this process.”
What’s next for Rosario?
Upon leaving the hearing held at the South Prison Justice Center, defense lawyers said they will file an appeal against judge Villar Ceballos’ ruling. According to the law, they have three working days to file this appeal and have the case reviewed by a higher court.
But the lawyer Mendieta explained to Animal Político that his main bet will be the presentation of another lawsuit of amparo against the preventive detention ratified against his represented. This under the premise that there was no discernment or serious analysis on the feasibility of extending this precautionary measure to Robles indiscriminately, with evidence that has already been distorted, and without respecting the exceptional nature that preventive detention should have.
Regardless of the resources that will be promoted, the judge’s decision means that the former federal official must remain imprisoned while her criminal process is developed and completed for the alleged omissions in the case of “La Estafa Maestra”. This process is now suspended by a different amparo under review that has not been resolved.
In this context, judicial and defense authorities believe that the oral trial in this case could be taking place in the summer of 2022 or after that date.
So far, the only former secretary of state prosecuted and imprisoned for the corruption system documented in the report “La Estafa Maestra” remains precisely Rosario Robles.
What we do at Animal Político requires professional journalists, teamwork, maintaining dialogueor with readers and something very important: independence. You can help us keep going. Be part of the team.
Subscribe to Animal Político, receive benefits and support free journalism.#YoSoyAnimal