Mexico Supreme Court judges slash own salaries

Cars enter Naval Base San Diego on May 8, 2015 in San Diego, California. (AFP)
Updated 09 January 2019

Mexico Supreme Court judges slash own salaries

  • The chief justice of the court last year earned a gross monthly salary of around 578,000 pesos ($29,900) per month

MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s Supreme Court said Tuesday its judges were cutting their own salaries by 25 percent, after austerity-crusading President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized their pay as overly lavish.
“As a means of ensuring the rational spending of public resources, the Supreme Court of Justice has agreed in a plenary session to reduce the remuneration of the 11 justices by 25 percent,” the court said in a statement.
The judges’ salaries had come in for scrutiny after Lopez Obrador publicly attacked them as excessive.
The anti-establishment leftist, who took office last month after a landslide election win, has cut his own salary by 60 percent, to about $5,500 a month.
He also pushed a law through Congress to set that as the maximum for all state employees. But the Supreme Court blocked the law from being implemented, ruling it violated employees’ rights.
Amid that battle between the executive and legislative branches, Lopez Obrador lashed out at the judges’ own salaries, which would also have been affected by the law.
The chief justice of the court last year earned a gross monthly salary of around 578,000 pesos ($29,900) per month.
“I think it’s dishonest for a public official to accept a salary of 600,000 pesos a month. That’s corruption, in a country with so much poverty,” Lopez Obrador said last month.
The court said the judicial branch had the sole authority to set its employees’ salaries.
The court made the decision in the name of “efficiency, savings, transparency and honoring the constitution,” the statement said.


Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

Updated 24 October 2020

Suicide bomber kills 18 in Afghan capital

  • There has been an upsurge in violence between Taliban and Afghan forces in the country
  • The US signed a peace deal with the Taliban in February, opening up a path toward withdrawing American troops from the conflict

KABUL: A suicide bomber struck near an education centre in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least 18 people in the latest attack to rock the conflict-wracked country.
Violence on the ground has spiked in recent weeks despite the Taliban and the Afghan government holding peace talks in Qatar to end the country's grinding war.
The suicide attack, which also wounded 57, happened late afternoon at the centre, which offers training and courses for students in higher education in a western district of Kabul.
"A suicide bomber wanted to enter the education centre," Tareq Arian, spokesman for the interior ministry, said in a statement.
"But he was identified by the centre's guards after which he detonated his explosives in an alley."
He said the attack had left at least 18 people dead and 57 wounded.
"I was standing about 100 metres from the centre when a big blast knocked me down," said local resident Ali Reza, who had gone to hospital with his cousin who was wounded in the blast.
"Dust and smoke was all around me. All those killed and wounded were students who wanted to enter the centre."
Daesh claimed responsibility for the attack.
Residents in several districts of western Kabul belong to the minority Shiite Hazara community, often targeted by Daesh militants. 
In the past, extremists have targeted several education centres and other facilities in the area.
In May, a group of gunmen launched a brazen daylight attack on a hospital in west Kabul that left several mothers dead. The gunmen were shot dead after hours of fighting with security forces.