Supreme Court Judges Were Bribed, says Cacho

Lydia Cacho's new book, 'Memorias de una infamia'The Supreme Court judges who voted that the rights of Lydia Cacho were not violated enough when she was arrested, detained and tortured by Puebla’s police under the orders of Governor Mario Marin were paid off by Marin’s lawyers, according to the journalist.

Cacho made the accusation, which if true promises to scandalize Mexico’s Supreme Court, in a conference last night during which she launched her new book ‘Memorias de una infamia’.

In her latest publication, Cacho documents her maltreatment at the hands of Marin, local businessmen Kamel Nacif, Jean Succar Kuri and other Mexicans that she implicated in a pedophile ring in Cancun in her book, ‘Demonios del Eden’.

In November last year, the Mexican Supreme Court rejected a report by its own Commission that found that Marin and 29 of his officials had conspired to violate Cacho’s rights. Its ten judges voted 6-4 that although there was evidence of criminal acts, and some rights violations did take place, they did not meet the ‘standards necessary’ for the court to recommend action to be taken.

Cacho alleged yesterday that all of those six judges were paid off. Her accusation would explain why a few days before, the Court appeared to be about to rule in her favour but then changed tack.

Flanked by more than 10 policemen, Cacho was accompanied by Carmen Aristegui and the women prompted a chat of ‘NoCacho and Aristegui (behind) were flanked by five policeman on each side estan solas! No estan solas!’ (‘You are not alone’) from the audience when they arrived and embraced on stage. Cacho has become a symbol in Mexico of the fight against the repression of freedom of expression and women’s rights as well as the figure who the Mexican public most associate with the issue of the persecution of journalists.

Aristegui was let go by her employers WRadio last month in controversial circumstances and supporters of hers said that the removal of her show demonstrates that Mexico’s new democracy was one only in name and not in substance.

Aristegui appears to have joined Cacho in her campaign against attempts to silence journalists who unearth dirty secrets or ask difficult questions.

Cacho cut a powerful figure last night when she thanked the thousand or so people who crammed into the beautiful hall of downtown Mexico’s City’s Museo de la Cuidad for coming and supporting her.

“You never left me alone,” she said to the crowd, calling the public’s support for her case a ‘national act of solidarity’.

Lydia Cacho and Carmen Aristegui face the crowdAround a thousand people attended the event, during which Cacho said she had been informed by someone close to Marin’s lawyers that the six judges who voted against taking legal action against him were paid off by his lawyers.

Cacho didn’t present concrete evidence for her claim and said it was something that she was investigating. But the accusation will throw petrol on the fire of controversy surrounding the Supreme Court’s finding’s last November.

Mexico’s President Calderon was also in the cross-fire last night. Aristegui described how during his presidential campaign in 2005 – 2006, Calderon had promised to take measures against the Governor of Puebla Mario Marian.

“It didn’t happen,” she said.

“Who protected the pedophiles?”

“Calderon!” shouted an anonymous voice from the audience, rousing applause from the crowd.

Aristegui described the ‘political, judicial and commercial network of protection’ that exists in Mexico to protect the powerful, and referred to Cacho’s case as a ‘national shame’.

“What the hell went through the heads of those six judges?” she asked, citing other examples where the Supreme Court had performed ‘magnificently’.

The book launch came in the same week that Calderon met with Louise Arbour, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who is in Mexico to review the country’s human rights situation.

“I would like to ratify my government’s firm commitment to protecting human rights and abiding by international standards in this matter,” said Calderon in a signed statement.

“This agreement confirms the commitment to the total respect for human rights in this country and I am convinced that the vitality of democracy is based on its full enforcement.”

Despite the hypocrisy Cacho has witnessed and the disappointment she has felt, one couldn’t help but share her optimism:

“I’m absolutely convinced that this country is going to change,” she said.

Let’s hope so.

Click HERE for a video on the protest in support of Carmen Aristegui
Click HERE for a brief interview with Lydia Cacho, recorded in August 2007
Click HERE and HERE for local coverage.

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