Mexico prosecutor recorded apparently trying to lock up his in-laws

MEXICO CITY — An alarming series of audio recordings has been released that shows Mexico’s attorney General cursing at a Supreme Court justice for refusing to allow him to have his in-laws kept in jail. A voice identified by Attorney General Alejandro Gertz Manero can be heard calling his niece “asshole”, and asking an assistant how appeals could help to keep her from being freed.

The recordings suggest Gertz Manero got an advance copy of a proposed but not yet approved Supreme Court opinion that apparently recommended freeing his niece and also that he engaged in a personal vendetta to punish his brother’s wife and her family, who he blamed for letting his brother die.

They also suggest the country’s top prosecutor doesn’t know much about the law: The person in the recordings asks an assistant how the appeals process works.

GertzManero’s office didn’t comment on the authenticity of the recordings but told local media that it was investigating the leaked recordings. This suggested they were true.

The prosecutor blames his in-laws for the death of his brother, Federico Gertz Manero, in 2015, apparently of natural causes at the age of 82. Gertz Manero claims the family — his brother’s common-law wife, 95, and her children — did not give him adequate medical care.

Because of her age, the older woman is not in prison, but her daughter, Alejandra Cuevas, 69, has been in prison for more than a year, awaiting trial on charges of “homicide by omission.”

Asked about the recordings by The Associated Press, Cuevas’ son, Alonso Castillo, said they showed systematic violations by Gertz Manero’s office.

” It seems there are many crimes in this area,” Castillo stated about the recordings. Castillo stated that one of the worst is the fact that the court seems to have sent an opinion to the attorney-general’s office. Because they were confidential documents, it is considered a crime.

“There’s influence peddling and abuse of power,” Castillo stated. “In other words, the implications of these recordings are tremendous.”

Most attorneys general anywhere in the world would have been required to recuse themselves from a case in which they had such obvious personal connections. Gertz Manero stated that his office handled the case as any other and at arms length. This is clearly contrary to the recording.

The in-laws have spent years appealing the case, and it eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, which is scheduled to publicly discuss it on March 14. Mexican law stipulates that the prosecution and defense must have equal access to these documents. However, the recording is not valid.

Worse, it appears that Gertz Manero and his staff discussed the decision with Supreme Court members.

Gertz manero was previously accused of misusing his position.

He has been trying to lock up 31 academics in a maximum security prison because he claims they improperly received about $2.5 million in government science funding years ago. Researchers say that such funds were allowed by law at the time.

The academic board involved had previously recommended not approving Gertz Manero’s request for formal recognition as a leading academic.

Meanwhile, Gertz Manero has failed to convict any of the top figures implicated in a big corruption case at the state-run Pemex oil company that almost bankrupted the firm.

Gertz Manero once threatened to sue the U.S. for investigating a former Mexican defense secretary into a case involving drug trafficking. After a brief investigation, Gertz Manero’s offices quickly cleared the ex-official.

So Far, President Andres Manuel López Obrador supports Gertz Manero. However, he can’t fire him directly; this would need a congressional process. Critics say that the actions of the attorney general contradict the president’s promise to eradicate corruption in government.

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