Thursday, October 01, 2009
MEXICAN LABOUR LEADER MAY FACE EXTRADITION:
The following comes from the Canwest News Service and was published in the Vancouver province. While not wishing to presume about the guilt or innocence of Mr. Urrutia one has to note that there are more likely places to flee to than Vancouver if one has snapped up $61 million. the other thing is that it is in serious doubt if the Mexican judicial system is an honest and capable judge of any case, let alone one with political overtones.
Interpol wants Mexican unionist living in Vancouver:
By Andy Ivens, Vancouver Province
October 1, 2009
VANCOUVER — Interpol has issued an arrest warrant for Mexico union leader Napoleon Gomez Urrutia, who is living in Vancouver.
The Mexican government wants Gomez, the leader of the huge Los Mineros union, to face charges of embezzling $55 million.
Gomez’ Vancouver lawyer, David Martin, said Interpol’s “red notice” for his client is a red herring, since it’s doubtful the Canadian government would agree to extradite him.
“There are conflicting reports about whether . . . Mexico has made a request for (his) extradition to Canada,” Martin told Canwest News Service on Wednesday.
“The Canadian Department of Justice, properly, in my view, has not authorized the commencement of extradition proceedings in Canada in relation to Mr. Gomez.”
Martin said Canada’s justice minister should have “serious concerns” about agreeing to start the extradition process.
“Many Mexican courts have already found that there is no basis to the charges that have been laid against Mr. Gomez,” said Martin.
Despite Interpol’s involvement, Gomez is safe until the RCMP are asked by Canadian authorities to arrest him.
The Mexican government maintains it has asked Canada to extradite Gomez.
Gomez ran afoul of the powerful Grupo Mexico mining company in 2006 after an explosion at one of its mines killed 65 miners. Gomez, head of the 280,000-strong miners’ union, demanded an investigation.
A few months later, prosecutors charged him with embezzling $55 million in union dues, something his supporters deny. He fled to Canada with his wife to avoid arrest.
Gomez has widespread international support from union leaders. His opponents and supporters have conducted audits on the issue, which produced conflicting conclusions.
Steve Hunt, Western Canada director of the Steelworkers union, charged the conservative government of President Felipe Calderon with “more harassment, more persecution” of Gomez.
“Politically, he’s a leader that people are fastening to,” said Hunt, who said Grupo Mexico has great influence with Calderon’s government.
Hunt fears Gomez could be thrown in jail in Mexico without being charged, and could languish there for years without bail. (A very common course of "justice" in Mexico-Molly )