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News > Mexico

Mexico Holds Referendum to Judge Former Presidents

  • A citizen carrying a poster saying

    A citizen carrying a poster saying "Take them to court. They betrayed Mexico", Mexico, July 26, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @lajornadaonline

Published 1 August 2021

This will be the first exercise of direct democracy in the country's history.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) on Saturday called on all citizens to cast their votes in this referendum, aiming to judge those politicians who violated Human Rights or committed any other federal crime.


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The National Electoral Institute (INE) informed over 93.6 million Mexicans can vote in this referendum, which is the first exercise of direct democracy in the country's history.

"Sunday's referendum is very important. Unfortunately, those who should promote this consultation want nothing to be known," AMLO said, criticizing those who hampered the effectiveness of this democratic exercise.

Mexicans should answer the question: Do you agree or disagree on undertaking a process of clarification of the political decisions made in the past years by political actors, under the constitutional and legal framework, and aimed at guaranteeing justice and the rights of the possible victims?

The query was initially proposed by AMLO, but it was further changed by the National Supreme Court of Justice, which took away the specific references to former Presidents.

The question seems entangled and unprecise, but if 40 percent of voters cast their votes, and if most of them agree on the proposal, it will be mandatory for the judicial power to take action against those who violated the law in the exercise of their duties.

Among the possible defendants may be Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994), Ernesto Zedillo (1994-2000), Vicente Fox (2000-2006), Felipe Calderón (2006-2012), and Enrique Peña Nieto (2012-2018), all of them have committed crimes related to Human Rights violations, electoral fraud, corruption, and illegal privatizations.

After political and legal disagreements, and delays due to budget issues, the INE prepared over 57.000 polling stations throughout the country, about a third of those deployed during June 6 parliamentary elections.

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