The saying goes that «the one who kills the goat sins as much as the one who grabs its leg». We could add that the person who does not protect the goat also sins, or those who in the face of various disappearances of goats, do nothing to find those responsible and stop the sacrifices. I bring this up in the context of real estate fraud because for years my mother and I have found ourselves victims of the authorities ‘omission in defending citizens assets’. In this article, I will tell you about our experience, particularly in relation to the omission of the authorities of the Presidency of Mexico, of Mexico City, and the Mayor of Miguel Hidalgo -where I live-, all of them from the Morena political party.
It is also important to clarify that in legal terms the commission by omission or improper omission occurs when a prohibitive norm is violated through the violation of a mandate norm or a special legal duty; it can be said that the author does not do what he should do and produces a result that should not have been presented. This commission by omission is found in the Penal Code, article 11, which states that «malicious or reckless actions and omissions punishable by law are crimes.»
The crimes that consist in the production of a result will only be understood to have been committed by omission when the non-avoidance of the same, by infringing a special legal duty of the author, is equivalent, according to the meaning of the text of the law, to its causation. For this purpose, the omission will be equated with the action:Article 11, Penal Code.
a) When there is a specific legal or contractual obligation to act.
b) When the defaulter has created an occasion of risk for the legally protected asset through a preceding act or omission.
According to the Penal Code, there must be a legal or contractual obligation to act as the first requirement. Both the Mexican Constitution and the International Treaties present norms that establish the responsibility of the authorities to protect the right to housing. When the authorities witness a growing number of dispossession, violent evictions, and mortgage fraud, and they do NOT take any action to protect people and their property, they de facto commit the crime of dispossession by omission.
The Right to Property is the right that every person has to use, enjoy, enjoy and dispose of their assets under the law. This right will be protected by the State so that no one can be deprived, or disturbed in their property except under a trial that follows the essential formalities of the procedure. This right is protected by articles 14 and 16, of the General Constitution of the Mexican Republic, by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (art. 25), the American Convention on Human Rights (art. 21), also in the Charter Of Human and Peoples’ Rights (art. 14) and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (art. 17). Likewise, it has a history of protection in jurisprudence, for example, the CJEU jurisprudence – Judgment of 03/14/2013, Mohamed Aziz, C-415 / 11– «Directive 93/13 / EEC – Contracts concluded with consumers – Mortgage loan – Procedure of foreclosure – Powers of the national judge – Abusive clause »–Incidence of the abusive nature.
Next, I will tell you about the experience in which I requested help from the various government agencies, and my experience was one of impotence in the face of their way of «washing their hands.» In the first place, I went to the Citizen Attention hearings at the Government Palace located in the Historic Center of Mexico City, with the hope of getting Andrés Manuel López Obrador a Letter of Help that my mother addressed to him through from the platform change.org and it already had a considerable number of thousands of supporting signatures. After forming us at the entrance, they lead us to some chairs on the ground floor. There they give us a number and ask us what is the matter to be addressed Those of us who request legal support are taken to another office, where we wait again. There is a television on the wall that meanwhile transmits «the morning conference of the president». Later they tell us that we can go up to the legal support area, we pass a checkpoint, and wait again in a corridor on the upper floor. When hours later it was time for my turn, I was attended by the lawyer García Lujano who heard the situation. His answer was: – «What a pity, I am also from Chiapas, now you are done, I understand, but there is nothing we can do here to support them. Besides, you are going to a federal instance, and this case is in Mexico City. Maybe if you go to the Head of Government, she can intervene or give you some kind of help. «
So I left without receiving any support. I walked downstairs, made my way to the entrance. However, on the way to the street, I stopped at the desk that is like the reception and information area, and I asked the young woman if I could leave the letter that my mother had addressed to the president with her, she just wanted a stamp received, and that they told me that they could send it to them. He answered me bluntly: – “No, nothing addressed to the president is received here. If you have already been attended, we thank you for leaving. » The guards and soldiers guarding the place led me to the exit. I left disappointed, however, I went to the office of parts of the presidency, and handed over the document. They give my document the stamp number 3239 dated July 1, 2019.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019, 5 a.m. m., I attend the hearing with Claudia Sheinbaum, we wait in line, and they give us a token. After a while they let us enter a room with many chairs and a presidium. The head of government attends and tells us that she is retiring, but various authorities will attend us. We wait our turn. When is the moment when one of those people can listen to me, Atty. René tells me that he should send me to the City’s legal counsel. They send us to a cubicle on the ground floor. I am told that they will attend me in the same building but on the top floor. There you have to wait again. When my turn comes they pass me to one of the interior cubicles. Then an attorney reviews the file until he concludes that there is nothing to do. Oh, but before I go I am asked to sign a survey in which I can acknowledge that I received the City’s legal attention and give my opinion. As I went to the street, the young man at the last counter asked me if I would like to leave a document for the Head of Government. I give him a copy of the Letter asking for Help, He puts the stamp from the Headquarters of the Government of Mexico City. I retire more and more sad and anguished. It seems to me that requesting legal support from federal and City authorities is like entering a maze; They give you a number, they make you wait, they pretend to listen to you, they even give you a survey to say that «you received help», even if all you hear is «we can’t do anything for you, thanks for coming, bye.» I wrote down the names of two lawyers whom I saw in this process, Jorge Miguel Pérez Lara and Juan Manuel Nelson. I also keep petition folio # 19004209. I begin to feel that the names of attorneys and «turns-of-attention» are increasingly empty of meaning.
The citizen service area is highly publicized through social networks, and they also publish an email, Facebook, and others networks available to the public. I sent the Letter for Help through such means, however, when I tag Sheinbaum on Facebook, the tag is always deleted. We never received a response to any of the emails.
I go to the Public Defender’s Office located in Col. Doctores, there of course you have to wait until they can listen to your case. The attorney who receives me tells me that I can proceed against the lawyers who left us defenseless, and therefore the property was lost, that this complaint does a criminal case. But since I am not the interested party, but only their proxy, then they cannot provide me with legal support, because their policy is to support only needy persons. I explain that my mother is 76 years old, is in poor health and lives in Chiapas, and therefore cannot travel to Mexico City to request legal help. -Well, then you should pay for a lawyer, or ask for help at a university that provides free support. -He answered. Then one of his coworkers comes by, and asks him -how are you? The attorney who has just read my file points to the sheaf of sheets and rolls his eyes, says with a tired expression -Well, look, I just reviewed «all this». His partner laughs and touches him on the shoulder. Before I retire, the counselor tells me: -Look, more than 96% of the people who have a case like yours, lose their property, it is obvious, if they do not have money to pay the monthly payments, they cannot pay either a defense. I no longer answer him, although I understand that there is an economic crisis, it seems very insensitive on his part to justify the real estate fraud and the indifference of the authorities and their institutions, of which he is part, with a statistic of the great number of victims.
On August 28, 2019, I attend the so-called «Wednesday With You» of the Miguel Hidalgo mayor’s office. A long line of people who seek various services and supports. Again you have to wait, explain what you want, take a number, and remain there until they call you. I am assisted by Nadia Luisa Corona Conde, in legal advice. They repeat more or less what has been said previously: – «Sue your lawyer for fraud, you have a year after the sentence to do so. We can neither take your case nor provide you with legal support, housing, or alternatives to your situation. Thanks for coming. Goodbye. » When I explained to the person who attended me that who bought the debt is José Luis Ramos y Fusther de Flota, a PRI politician who has worked in various public positions in the area of Education, Finance, Social Development, and in training police officers, and that I believe there is some kind of plot between lawyers, lend names, and judges, the attorney for the mayor’s office opens her eyes a little and seems to be paying attention. -What is your name again? -She asks and writes down my answer in her notebook.
Among the activities of the mayor’s office, they sometimes bring this type of medical or legal advisory service to the parks. Weeks later I approach one of these events to speak with Mayor Victor Hugo Romo, and personally present my case. I meet the same lawyer, Nadia Luisa Corona, who tells me that it is not possible to make an appointment with Romo, that she has already «advised» me on the matter, «have a good day». When trying to speak with other workers present at the event to request an interview with Romo, in each case I received the same response; «It is not possible, that is why they are there, to attend to citizen demands.»
Two years have passed since that bitter experience of encountering indifference and even the mockery of the authorities to our situation of fraud and risk of property dispossession. They turned a deaf ear at the various levels of government to our cry for help. Both the then head of the mayor’s office, as well as the Head of Government and the President are from the Morena party. We are beginning to doubt that his statements against corruption are more than words. It is regrettable that there are situations in which the authorities leave citizens in a defenseless state; that justice is only for those who can pay bribes and other gifts. That is why I affirm that Morena commits the crime of real estate fraud by omission.
This may sound a bit over the top, but it is not. They say that «whoever forgets his story is condemned to repeat it.» The previous sentence written by the Spanish poet and philosopher Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana welcomes visitors to block number 4 of the Auschwitz camp. Beyond remembering a very wise saying, this serves as a preamble for a precedent of a mega-real estate dispossession that happened not long ago, in 2017, thanks to the collaboration between the then Head of Government of Mexico City, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, and Carlos Slim, one of the richest men in the world.
Slim has a diversity of companies: Grupo Carso. Grupo Sanborns (Sanborns, Sanborns Café, Sears, iShop, Mixup, eduMac, SaksFifthAvenue, DAX), América Móvil (Telmex, Telcel), Grupo Financiero Inbursa, and owns 16.8% of the shares of The New York Times. He performs philanthropic work through the foundations of some of these companies. For example, the Carlos Slim Foundation, the Telmex Foundation, and the Historic Center Foundation, which sponsors thanks to the Historic Center Festival Trust. Although the contribution it has made to culture is important, the truth is that he has been questioned for dubious financial management. According to the law, trusts are transitory, and in Mexico there are many that last for decades. When Andrés Manuel López Obrador was in charge of Mexico City, he made an agreement with Carlos Slim, in order to achieve the remodeling of the Historic Center. Many of the buildings were at physical risk of collapse or other types of accidents. There was a “rent frozen” law, which caused many tenants to pay very little, and landlords had no budget for maintenance. The City government carried out an operation to “buy” their property from the residents, although this was at a very low price, almost at the price of land. Many were forcibly evicted. The estate was then offered for sale. Carlos Slim acquired a large number of the available offers, which makes him the owner of a large percentage of the Historic Center. He bought and restored properties on more than 27 streets. Among the advantages of their investment, which were more than one billion pesos in the place, which entered the coffers of the City government, is the beautification of the avenues, and the increase in public safety in the area. Some buildings that he acquired became the scene of cultural activities, among them the “Señorial”, and the Hotel Virreyes. The businessman of Lebanese origin and whose family had their businesses in the La Merced neighborhood stated in 2017 that it was possible to bring the Historic Center «to its best moment.» We may or may not agree with the historical facts, which does not transform them, it is a reality in which we are witnesses. The truth is that Slim’s intervention in the Historic Center is a hypermodern, hypercapitalist, «hyper-remodeling», or «hyper-resemantization» of a very important urban area for Mexico City and its culture, and even for Latin America. What is questionable is that it is a hyper-real estate fraud in large proportions and flagrant impunity. That this type of collaboration between authorities and private companies has enriched a few and stripped many of their homes. We should ask those who lost their heritage in the first painting of the City what do they think about it? #RightToHousing
This could happen to anyone, to you, to your children. If something similar has happened to you, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to organize a collective lawsuit.
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