The office of Mexican Attorney General Marisela Morales announced yesterday the formal removal from office of 21 federal prosecutors who had represented districts throughout the country. This is the largest mass resignation in the office’s recent history and coincides with another announcement that 111 office staff members will be charged with crimes, 462 will be immediately removed from their positions, and 386 cases are still pending. The assortment of charges against staff includes fraud, theft, the abuse of public office for personal gain, bribery, and embezzlement.
The attorney general’s office has not provided details about the removal of prosecutors, which has led Alejandro Poiré, Secretary of the National Security Council (Concejo de Seguridad Nacional), to request that Morales informs the government whether the prosecutors are under investigation for wrongdoing. According to Poiré, the office “didn’t clarify if the prosecutors failed performance evaluations or if they are being removed because of differences with the incumbent Marisela Morales.”
In a press release, Morales Ibañez was vague: “Depuration of the Attorney General’s Office is fundamental to provide citizens the results they deserve. Today’s Mexico requires that public officials do our work with responsibility and dedication,” she said.
The prosecutor for Querétaro state, Norma Patricia Valdéz, said that her colleagues were gathered together and informed the dismissals. Valdéz—who like other prosecutors will be replaced by her assistant—said there were never any personal differences between herself and the Attorney General. She added she doesn’t fear any investigation into her time in office as she has always “worked within the bounds of the law.”