Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Veracruz will create new law to prosecute "terror twitters"
Mexico, too, has an express ex post facto prohibition. Article 14 of its constitution says: A ninguna ley se dará efecto retroactivo en perjuicio de persona alguna -- "No law will be applied so as to retroactively prejudice anyone." Maybe somebody should explain the concept to authorities in Veracruz, where two so-called "terror twitters" sit in jail awaiting further legal developments in their cases. A very public -- indeed world-wide -- outcry followed when they were charged with the transmission of terroristic communications and "sabotage" on August 25 (see my post below). Prosecutors then decided to reduce the charges, which would permit them to be released on bond. But no appropriate charge exists under local law, so they're making up a new one -- "Inciting Public Disorder" -- just for these cases. Very convenient, although the proposed law sounds rather like something one might encounter in Iran or North Korea. A Mexican senator has said that if these prosecutions go forward they will establish "a darker precedent than either Mexico or the world has ever seen." And a columnist here suggests this morning that the real purpose of these cases is to intimidate anyone who might think about using social networks to warn of impending crime or security issues -- or government abuse of its own citizens.
I agree with all of the above observations. Read my opinion of the case here: http://mexicogulfreporter-supplement.blogspot.com/2011/11/mexico-should-proceed-with-caution-in.html.
[Photo: The Angel of Independence who guards Mexico]
at 10:38 AM