MEXICO CITY (AP) — A former prosecutor and ambassador who has been questioned about his public service record and close ties to President Enrique Pena Nieto was voted late Tuesday onto Mexico's Supreme Court.
Eduardo Medina Mora took the oath of office immediately after being approved by the Senate, despite never having served as a judge, not meeting the residency requirement of two years and facing questions about his impartiality given his links to the presidency.
Medina Mora was attorney general, then ambassador to England and later the United States, putting him out of the country since 2009.
Critics called his appointment as Supreme Court minister one more sign that the political class is not listening to the concerns of the public as Mexico faces a credibility crisis over of corruption and conflict-of-interest scandals.
The appointment shows a government that has withdrawn and is not even trying to correct its mistakes, said Gilberto Santa Rita, a law expert at the Iberoamerican University.
"This demonstrates that in our country, doors aren't opened because of merit ... rather because of political deals," Santa Rita said. "Being a judge is not the same as being a prosecutor."
Academic and civic organizations launched a petition campaign against Medina Mora's nomination and gathered 54,000 signatures according to the petition Internet site. According to the campaign, Medina Mora's tenure as attorney general was marked by human rights violations and shoddy prosecutions against public officials with alleged ties to organized crime, almost all of whom were eventually exonerated.
He was also criticized for challenging a law in Mexico City that decriminalized abortion.
Just before his election, Medina Mora said he was sensitive and listening to the criticisms.
"My actions are sustained by good faith and compliance with the law," he said.