SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda is accusing some federal judges in her state of unnecessarily setting free suspects from prison without just cause.
She says judges are releasing drug dealers and people held on gun charges before they are brought to justice.
“We have the authority to arrest them and charge them with a crime but due to judicial tricks, they are being let go,” the governor said.
Ávila Olmeda made these comments during her weekly news conference in Mexicali, Baja California’s capital city.
She gave one example of a suspect being released from custody three times after being arrested on gun charges on three separate occasions.
“They get to the judge, and boom, they’re out, and then they are back next week,” said Ávila Olmeda.
She said police officers in the state are doing their job, as are the National Guard and army.
“We are one of the states with the most seizures on the national level with the most apprehensions, but the judicial powers that be aren’t doing their job, they should be ruling on behalf of citizens.”
Other officials like Gen. Leopoldo Tizoc Aguilar Durán, head of Baja’s Public Safety, said changes need to be made to the way some judges apply the law.
“There are three cases in particular where we have documented clear anomalies and omissions by the judges,” he said. “Later this month, we’re going to be meeting with Mexico’s Attorney General to discuss these issues.”
The general pointed to one case where a plane loaded with 200 kilos of cocaine was stopped and five passengers were detained, but set free by a judge in a matter of days.
Another case involved a well-known migrant smuggler east of Tijuana who was arrested but released by a court.
“To top it off, five police officers testified in favor of the suspect, that was the last straw,” said Ávila Olmeda.