Diplomatic Immunity for Mexican Ex-President Ernesto Zedillo

Diplomatic immunity or impunity?

By Beatriz Schiava
Published on LatinoLA: September 6, 2012

Diplomatic Immunity for Mexican Ex-President Ernesto Zedillo

Dr. Ernesto Zedillo, ex-President of Mexico and Professor of Economics at Yale University is awaiting the "statement of interest," from the US Department of Justice to grant him diplomatic immunity in the civil lawsuit against him filed in New Haven, Connecticut.

The US Department of Justice had until September 7, to make a statement of interest to the judge in Connecticut. The charges brought against Dr. Zedillo by the relatives of the victims of the massacre in Acteal, State of Chiapas, Mexico, are for his alleged responsibility in the extrajudicial killings of their relatives, war crimes, cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, crimes against humanity, and violations of human rights.

In his article, "Universal jurisdiction," published in the Spanish Newspaper, El Pa?¡s on September 4, political analyst, Jorge G. Casta??eda makes the argument that the State Department "invokes US relations with Mexico," and that the Zedillo administration was "friendly to the US, and democratic," to grant the requested diplomatic immunity. Dr. Casta??eda says that "it would be a pity, were a decent, democratic leader like Zedillo to pay the cost of clamping down on murderous crooked tyrants."

It is possible that as Dr. Casta??eda argues, the Obama administration will grant the request of diplomatic immunity made by Mexican President Felipe Calder??n, to the US on behalf of Zedillo, on sovereignty grounds.

It is not correct to say that the Zedillo administration was democratic. Actually, it was a repressive regime of the many PRI governments during the seven decades with the PRI in power. The existence of paramilitary forces, trained and armed by the Mexican army, in Mexican territory is well documented, not only by international human rights organizations, but also by the US National Security Archive: Electronic Briefing Book No. 283.

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About Beatriz Schiava:
Dr. Beatriz Schiava is a medical doctor and journalist. She has a master in international affairs from Washington University Saint Louis, and a master in religion from Notre Dame University

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