José Luis Vargas, satisfied at concluding his term as Magistrate of the TEPJF
A few hours after leaving office, the magistrate of the Electoral Court, José Luis Vargas, assured that he leaves satisfied with his work, with "a clean forehead", but with concern about polarized times, where the law is not followed and it seems that “nothing happens”, and for the legitimacy of the Court to qualify the presidential election when it seems that it will be left with only five members.
In his last interview for this medium as an electoral magistrate, Vargas Valdés admitted an attack on the Judiciary, but where that power also needs to engage in self-criticism to detect and eliminate excesses; He believed that Plan B of electoral reform had things that could be rescued; He advocated for reforms that “decriminalize” the actions of political actors and achieve a more liberal conduct of the electoral issue, in addition to admitting that he failed to achieve unity among the magistrates during his brief time as president of the Superior Chamber.
With a view to taking a long vacation and then resuming his private practice as a consultant and lawyer, José Luis Vargas explained to this reporter that after two years of litigation to clear his name, three instances declared him innocent of accusations of money laundering. and illicit enrichment due to the scandal in 2021 surrounding his family's properties.
“I come out with a clean forehead because I fought as one has to fight, it is clear to me that there was an intention to pressure me, even to seek a vacant seat in this Court, they did not succeed, I come out absolutely clean,” said the still magistrate.
Vargas Valdés spoke of these times in which “a lot of political forms have been lost, where we are in a struggle of forces between public powers” and where the radicalization of positions, for example, did not allow us to rescue proposals from Plan B for reform. electoral, or detect that part of the 13 trusts of the Judicial Branch could be reviewed.
During the talk, the magistrate wished his colleagues to consolidate unity among them, because after the “traumatic” event in which things were done that “should not have been done,” the Court must show congruence in “our moral stature.” and in our actions before the citizens, the parties, and settling controversies between the parties where there is violence, where there are a series of things that are frankly not acceptable and the moral authority of the judge is something that has to be very careful.”
The above is referring to the events of August 2021 in which five judges removed him from the presidency, and subsequently, after his resignation, the current president Reyes Rodríguez Mondragón was unanimously elected.
Regarding the challenges for 2024 for the Superior Chamber, Vargas observes the political deterioration where negotiations have been renounced, everything is polarized and there is a reluctance to resolve differences due to institutional causes, and he said that it is worth reviewing the rules of the game, But then, he stressed, judicial mandates must be followed, so that a perception of “lack of the rule of law” is not generated.
In addition, he expressed that his concern is in the lack of two judges appointed by the Senate because there is no perceived urgency to comply with the law and they do not "realize that they put the legitimacy of an electoral process at risk."
He explained that the Court can function with up to four magistrates, but “if tomorrow in the presidential race there is a small margin between first and second place, where the second place is sorry that it lost because it was not favored in certain judicial resolutions during the process because there was a lack of integration, if those magistrates had been there, the scenarios could hypothetically be different, then the next ruler of this country will probably enter, the transition will occur, but he enters with a very important doubt of legitimacy.
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