“big Brother is watching you”
A few years ago it seemed that we Mexicans were winning the battle against an inquisitive and authoritarian state, but today we are losing it. The decision of the first chamber of the Supreme Court to allow tax authorities to access information from the bank accounts of individuals or companies without the authorization of a judge is a brutal blow against individual rights.
No one questions that the authority can review bank accounts when it proves before a judge that there are probable causes for the commission of an offense such as tax evasion. The problem arises when you obtain information on a discretionary basis, without a court order, without assigning any reason, without informing the citizen whose rights are being violated. Despite the fact that the Constitution guarantees the protection of personal information, it lends itself to heavy abuse.
The first House of Ministers recognized the “relevance of the right to privacy” in their decision. They are tied. Article 16 of the Constitution not only states that “No one shall be harassed in his person, family, house or property, but by virtue of a written order from the competent authority, which establishes the legal cause of the procedure.” and motivates”, but also adds: “Everyone has the right to the protection of their personal data”. Given these constitutional guarantees, the minister cannot say that the state has no obligation to protect banking secrecy.
However, with the argument that “no authority is absolute”, ministers, legislators and officials have scrapped personal guarantees to create an increasingly powerful and abusive state. Article 142 of the Credit Institutions Law is a step in this direction as it allows tax authorities to review any bank account without the permission of a judge and without probable cause. The Court’s decision declaring this article constitutional violates the right to protect personal data, which is a matter of concern at a time when the President of the Republic himself is displaying a journalist’s personal financial data because of his criticism of him. disturbs.
The judgment against bank secrecy isn’t the only case in which the Mexican state is defying personal guarantees. The number of crimes in which the presumption of innocence does not apply is increasing. The figure of pre-trial detention, which allows sentencing before a decision is made, applies to a growing number of crimes. The case of Rosario Robles is an example of how it is used against political “enemies”, even when they are charged with crimes that do not provide for preventive detention. Domain extirpation allows the authorities to seize the properties of alleged criminals prior to trial, but also gives them the power to sell them without prior decision of the court. The “Excuse Me” characteristic of Mexican justice becomes an insult in these cases.
We are getting closer to the society described by George Orwell in 1984. The state has the right to arrest us, snatch our properties and spread rumors through our bank accounts. You can do this at your discretion; Now he doesn’t even need to persuade any judge. Although earlier they did not have to spend much to do it. Personal guarantees are becoming simple embellishments of the Constitution without real legitimacy.
While the state violates banking secrecy, it hides information that should be public. The Mexico City Water System reserves the Metropolitan Drainage Operation Log for three years as of September 6, 2021. It does not want us to know the actions that led to the flooding of the Tula River, which caused 14 deaths.