News Latin America Pressure increases in the courts to reactivate the INAI

Pressure increases in the courts to reactivate the INAI

The four remaining commissioners of the INAI in the plenary session of the institute, on May 2, 2023.Rogelio Morales Ponce (Dark Room)

The judicial fence for the Senate to name the commissioners of the National Institute for Transparency is becoming smaller and smaller. On the one hand, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation admitted a claim by the autonomous body (in charge of transparency and protection of personal data) against the first refusal of one of the ministers of the Court to grant the institute a session with only four members of its plenary, in the absence of the appointments of three commissioners who are stuck in the Senate of the Republic. And, on the other hand, also this May 9, a federal court has ordered the senators to immediately name one of the missing commissioners.

After admitting the claim by the INAI, the Court turned the appeal to the presentation of the minister Javier Laynez Potisek so that he is in charge of carrying out a project that resolves whether or not it is correct to deny the institute -which has been for more than one month without being able to operate at its maximum capacity- hold sessions with only four of the commissioners, when by law at least five members are needed to reach a quorum. Minister Laynez Potisek has been criticized and endorsed in recent times for being against several of the initiatives and actions of the Government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and for voting in favor to tear them down. It was he, for example, who admitted the lawsuit filed by the National Electoral Institute (INE) against the “plan b” of the president’s electoral reform and temporarily suspended its application, which earned him both criticism and support.

The admission of the appeal occurs after last April 24, the also minister of the Court, Loretta Ortiz, denied the INAI a promoted appeal to be able to carry out its plenary sessions and to be able to resolve complaints against the lack of transparency or violations to the protection of personal data.

Of the three missing commissioners, two left their positions, at the end of their terms in the INAI plenary, since March 2022 and the third ended his term in March of this year. This last appointment, to designate the replacement of ex-commissioner Francisco Javier Acuna, is the one ordered by the Twentieth Collegiate Court on Administrative Matters hours after the Court admitted INAI’s claim. Unlike the legal actions undertaken in the Court, the amparo confirmed by this court has been promoted by the members of the INAI Advisory Council, an honorary body made up of citizens and specialists, created to monitor the proper functioning of the institute.

During the court session, magistrate Fernando Silva Garcia asserted that “no power has the power to directly or indirectly disable the operation of an autonomous constitutional body.”

To these actions is added another that is expected to be resolved this Thursday, May 11. According to the newspaper Reform, A federal judge will determine whether the Senate has disobeyed a court order of March 3, which gave the Upper House 48 hours to appoint at least one INAI commissioner, of the two that have been vacant since March 2022. That is, The judge will indicate whether or not there has been contempt on the part of the legislators, a crime that is punishable by three to nine years in prison after the cases have been investigated by the Attorney General’s Office (FGR). Celia Quintero Rico, Seventeenth District Judge in Administrative Matters, received on May 8 a report from the Senate on non-compliance with the order and informed that she will decide on the case.

If any of these actions are resolved before September, the Permanent Commission, which is currently in session due to the legislative recess period, would have to call a special session of the Senate so that legislators can appoint the INAI commissioner(s). .

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