LatinNews Daily - 18 October 2023

In brief: Mexico’s lower chamber votes to eliminate judicial power's trusts

* Mexico’s lower chamber of deputies has approved the elimination of 13 out of 14 judicial branch trusts. The lower chamber voted to amend Article 224 of the organic law of the federal judiciary concerning funds and trusts, with 260 votes in favour and 196 against. The approved amendment prohibits the creation or operation of trusts belonging to the federal judicial power (PJF) other than the economic fund for the improvement of the administration of justice. If approved in the senate, this would mean that the supreme court (SCJN), the federal judicial oversight body (CJF), and the federal electoral tribunal (TEPJF) would need to hand over more than M$15bn (US$832m) to the federal treasury, according to local press reports. The 13 affected trusts are dedicated to supplementary pensions for senior officers, private medical benefit plans, and maintenance of magistrates' and judges' homes, among other things. The resources are to be returned to the federal treasury and will be allocated by the finance ministry (SHCP) towards programmes in compliance with the national development plan. The proposal was promoted by federal deputy Ignacio Mier and presented by federal deputy Víctor Gabriel Varela López, both from the ruling left-wing Movimiento Regeneración Nacional (Morena). Before the vote, judicial branch workers took to the streets to protest against the proposed change, which Margarita Zavala,  a federal deputy for the opposition right-wing Partido Acción Nacional (PAN), referred to on social media as a “robbery of the workers of the judiciary”.   

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