OTHER INQUISITIONS: Anecdotes of power: The lawyer of power

Pablo Cabañas Díaz.

In June 2013, the lawyer Enrique Fuentes León died an event that would have gone unnoticed but his daughter-in-law, the model Jacqueline Bracamontes made it known. Famous for his unique friendships among them -the disappeared Manuel Muñoz Rocha, among others-, his bribe of half a million dollars, in 1988, to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, for his alleged involvement in the crimes of José Francisco Ruiz Massieu and Luis Donaldo Colosio, and for being the protagonist of the “longest and most voluminous trial in the history of Texas,” among other episodes, the litigant took countless secrets to his grave, many of them backed by the silence of the PRI.

The news was spread by the entertainment press and only a few obituaries appeared in the national newspapers. A low-profile farewell so as not to remove the networks of protection and complicity that reached officials of the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. On June 16, TV y Novelas magazine reported on its website that model and host Jacqueline Bracamontes was mourning the death of her father-in-law, Fuentes León, 79. The day before, the actress had made it known on her Twitter account. A discreet and brief ceremony at a funeral home in southern Mexico City, on June 15, put an end to the stormy story of the litigant who enjoyed great favors from the powers of the Mexican State – despite having wronged them – and starred in the longest and most voluminous trial in Texas history.

Among lawyers until today there is a coincidence that in the second half of the 20th century he personified the corrupt Mexican lawyer, in continuation of the archetype that Bernabé Jurado had embodied decades ago. For years, Fuentes Leon was a feared attorney. He litigated with blows, with the gun on the desk and threats. He was a fugitive from Mexican justice. He was involved in the murder of an ex-partner, in the disappearance of artist Nellie Campobello and her assets, and in charges of money laundering and bribery in the United States. Also in the protection of the former federal deputy of the PRI, Manuel Muñoz Rocha, accused of organizing the murder of the secretary general of that party, José Francisco Ruiz Massieu, in September 1994. His name was also in the nebulous investigation of the murder of the candidate President of the PRI, Luis Donaldo Colosio, in March of that same year. But, above all, it was the center of the worst scandal in the history of the Mexican Judiciary. At least the most serious shame in the highest court so far known. In 1988 he bribed the then Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, Ernesto Díaz Infante, with half a million dollars, to manage through two magistrates, also bought, the release of the Jackal of Acapulco, Alejandro Braun Díaz, sentenced to 30 years in prison for the rape and murder of the six-year-old Merle Yuridia Mondain Segura, in 1986.

Notwithstanding the humiliation, the Court itself tried to stop the legal action against Díaz Infante. In early 1993, when Jorge Carpizo had just arrived at the Office of the Attorney General of the Republic (PGR) appointed by Carlos Salinas, he found an “untouchable file.” It was Diaz Infante’s. The Court, then presided over by Minister Ulises Schmill, invited Carpizo to a breakfast in the Pino Suárez building. The ministers asked him not to act against his colleague and not to consign the file for the damage it would cause the highest court. “The best way to defend this institution is what I did this morning: consign the file before the federal judge,” Carpizo replied, lawyers who heard the story of the former attorney himself, days before his death, in March of last year, refer. Díaz Infante, who was at large in San Antonio, Texas, the same place where Fuentes León fled due to bribery, was arrested by the FBI in June 2001, days before prescribing the crimes of bribery and obstruction of justice for those that Carpizo consigned. Two years later, the minister was sentenced to 10 years in prison, after the Court itself denied him two injunctions. He spent three years in prison and in 2004 he was confined to his home due to cancer. He died in 2006, at the age of 77, with the name of Enrique Fuentes León as a shadow



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