Sep 8, 2012

U.S.: Ex-Mexican president should have immunity in massacre case

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN

(CNN) -- U.S. officials have recommended immunity for a former Mexican president in a U.S. federal court case over his alleged role in a 1997 massacre.

Survivors of the attack and heirs of the 45 villagers who were killed in the massacre filed a civil lawsuit last year, accusing former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo of crimes against humanity.

A court filing from the U.S. government Friday supported Zedillo's argument that he should be immune from prosecution.

"The alleged actions as set forth in the complaint are predicated on former President Zedillo's actions as President of Mexico, thus involving the exercise of his powers of office," the filing said.

The filing concluded by saying "the United States has determined that former President Zedillo enjoys immunity from this lawsuit."

Arguments that Zedillo "should be held liable for lower level officials' tortious conduct simply by virtue of his position as president at the time" were not enough to change the U.S. State Department's assessment, officials said in the filing. Read more. 

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