Freedom of expression is at risk. A recent ruling by the Specialized Regional Chamber of the Electoral Tribunal in Mexico convicted Rodrigo Iván Cortés, president of the Frente Nacional por la Familia (FNF) and co-founder of the Political Network for Values, for alleged “political violence against women”.
The process against Cortés was initiated by the transgender congressman Salma Luévano Luna, who in September 2022 proposed a bill to criminalize ministers of worship who proclaim Christian teachings on human sexuality, and announced it from the tribune of the Federal Chamber dressed as a Catholic bishop and with aggressive language. The event generated great indignation. In Mexico 79% of the population is Catholic.
Rodrigo Iván denounced in the social media of the FNF the offense caused by the congressman to Christians, warned that his project put at risk the freedom of expression and religious freedom in the country; and pointed out that the congressman is a man who ascribes himself as a woman.
Seeing that the controversy was growing, to divert attention from the scorn he inflicted, Luévano sued Cortés for not recognizing him as a woman. The aggressor went on to present himself as a victim. And, surprisingly, the court ruled in his favor. It ruled that criticizing a politician, a man who claims to be a woman, undermines “women’s political-electoral rights.” Cortes has appealed the ruling and awaits the new decision. Meanwhile, the real aggressor goes unpunished.
Cortés’ case is not the only one. Legislators Gabriel Quadri and Teresa Castell, a woman, have also been unjustly convicted of “political violence” against the same congressman.
Dissent is not discrimination, and peaceful dissent should never be penalized as violence. Cortés’ criticism of the congressman was respectful and objective; Luévano’s offense to Christians was not. It is deeply troubling that those who exercise their right to peacefully share their views on an important issue in the current debate are censured and judicially condemned for “political violence”. Speaking the truth, in a respectful and peaceful manner, can never be considered as incitement to hatred, otherwise the very basis of dialogue, one of the foundations of truly democratic societies, is destroyed.
We offer our full support and solidarity to the co-founder and vice-president of the Board of Directors of our Network, as well as to the parliamentarians Quadri and Castell, and we ask that the corresponding judicial authorities do not yield to the pressure of a small ideological group and restore law and freedom in Mexico.
Madrid, July 01, 2022.