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Nationwide protest after government announces ‘elimination of luxuries’ for higher up judicial workers

Riviera Maya, Q.R. — Thousands of judicial employees across the country protested proposed wage cuts and other changes announced by the federal government. In Cancun and Chetumal, hundreds took to the streets in protest of the “elimination of luxuries” as announced by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.

On Tuesday morning, López Obrador said the “elimination of luxuries for judges, magistrates and ministers,” which lead to a nation-wide protest, would not affect other judicial workers.

“Don’t be fooled, it’s from above. That’s what Congress proposed, taking away the privileges of those above, not those below. Those salaries are not going to be reduced nor are their pensions going to be taken away, nothing,” López Obrador said, directing his comment to the workers.

López Obrador said that the financial luxuries for judges, magistrates and ministers being paid out by the government adds up to 15 billion pesos.

In a statement, he said the salaries of ministers, magistrates and judges reach as high as 700,000 pesos per month. In addition, there are resources allocated to plastic surgeries and excessive travel expenses, among other benefits not considered in the law.

A group of approximately 200 judicial workers protested in Cancun Tuesday. Photo: October 17, 2023.

“Their drivers, their assistants, the payment of their domestic workers, the payment for the maintenance of their houses, their meals, their plastic surgeries, travel expenses, all those luxuries,” he said.

He argued that the Judiciary is experiencing a crisis due to the immoral behavior and waste that has characterized the highest hierarchy positions. Furthermore, during the last 40 years, their actions have not benefited the people.

“Everything they have done has been in favor of minorities: legalizing corruption, legitimizing theft,” he stressed.

He said the rank-and-file workers of the Judiciary will not have their wages or pensions cut.

“I take this opportunity to tell the workers of the Judicial Branch that it is not with them, that they are not going to be harmed in any way. On the contrary, they are going to benefit because what should be sought is to lower the salary and, above all, the canonries, the privileges of those above and raise the salary of those below and that is what is being done,” he said.

López Obrador stressed that the only body empowered to modify the budget of the Judiciary is the Chamber of Deputies. By eliminating the privileges of senior officials, lower-ranking workers will benefit from higher salaries.