NewsLatin AmericaMinister Yasmin Esquivel, accused of plagiarizing her undergraduate thesis in 1987

Minister Yasmin Esquivel, accused of plagiarizing her undergraduate thesis in 1987

Minister Yasmin Esquivel Mossa during a public event in Mexico City, in December 2022.Andrea Murcia (DARK ROOM)

The minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation Yasmin Esquivel has been accused this Wednesday of having plagiarized her law degree thesis, presented in 1987. The recrimination comes from Guillermo Sheridan, a researcher at the Center for Literary Studies of the University Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM), stating that the magistrate’s document is a copy of a thesis published a year earlier by Edgar Ulises Baez. Both are final works of the degree to acquire the degree of Law. Esquivel has denied the accusations: “It is absolutely false”, and she has presented a document from the tutor of her thesis, Martha Rodriguez Ortiz, in which the professor assures that it is an “original” document. Esquivel is a candidate to preside over the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and is referred to as Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s bid to lead the Mexican high court.

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The scandal has jumped into an article in LatinUs, the portal directed by Carlos Loret de Mola, with whom the president maintains an open conflict. In this medium, Sheridan compared the works of Esquivel and Baez, both entitled: “Ineffectiveness of unions in trusted workers of Article 123 Section A.” “Of course it can be argued that it is not the first time that two academics have undertaken work on the same subject and at almost the same time; It would be more complicated to explain that the coincidence extends to the index of the theses”, wrote the researcher, “it is verified that the text of both theses is also identical”.

EL PAIS has verified that the two theses have exactly the same index, the same paragraphs stating the problem, as well as the same graphs. In all the chapters reviewed by this newspaper the two texts are identical. Even the same repeated grammatical errors are identified, such as, for example, a comma between the subject and the predicate that is repeated in both theses: “English unionism recognizes antecedents…”.

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Based on this premise, Guillermo Sheridan states: “Yasmin Esquivel completely plagiarized Baez Gutierrez’s thesis. This means that Esquivel Mossa’s thesis is invalidated, as well as her professional title of law degree, ill-gotten, since it was achieved by deceiving the synod, the UNAM, her colleagues, the people of Mexico who financed her studies. and, of course, herself.

The minister, in order to deny the accusations, has published a document signed by Professor Martha Rodriguez Ortiz, who was her thesis tutor and to whom she dedicated -among other people- that work from 1987: “I am infinitely grateful to Martha Rodriguez Ortiz, for her advice, friendship and help in the preparation of this work. So I also reiterate my admiration for her as a lawyer, teacher, woman and mother”.

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In the document, Rodriguez lists that he has worked as a professor at UNAM for 45 years, has advised more than 500 undergraduate theses, as well as has directed several law seminars at the Escuela Nacional de Estudios Superiores Aragon. “I certify that the thesis of my student Yasmin Esquivel is an original thesis that I directed and that it is her authorship. It is not plagiarism as the published column is erroneously and falsely indicating it”, points out the teacher, who asks LatinUs that rectifies.

Some experts agree on the impact, if plagiarism is proven, that this fact could have on Esquivel’s career, especially in a legal profession where meritocracy is considered essential. Esquivel is one of the five ministers who are running to preside over the Supreme Court, in a vote that will decide the future of the highest court on January 2.

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