The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) announced that Yasmin Esquivel, Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN), was summoned by the University Ethics Committee to present its arguments and evidence in relation to “the misappropriation of the texts of the theses presented in 1986 and 1987.”
“She will be summoned by said Committee to offer the arguments and evidence she deems pertinent, either personally or through a representative, guaranteeing her right to a hearing and defense.”
It was Elisa Speckman Guerra, president of the University Ethics Committee, who established communication with Esquivel to notify him that he may present the arguments and evidence that he considers pertinent.
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The former student of the Faculty of Higher Studies (FES) Aragón may present the documentation personally or through a representative.
While the date on which the University Ethics Committee will analyze the evidence is set, Esquivel will be able to send the documents to the office of the Technical Secretariat of this Committee, said the institution.
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In this way, Esquivel is guaranteed his right to a hearing and defense, UNAM assured in a statement issued on the afternoon of January 26.
Since last January 23, Enrique Graue Wiechers, rector of the UNAM, announced that the university would give the SCJN minister a space to defend herself.
It was after receiving an honorary doctorate from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua (UACH) that the rector reiterated to the media that UNAM will not act hastily regarding the case of Yasmín Esquivel.
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Previously, Graue Wiechers denied that the investigation into plagiarism was closed after the UNAM determined Yasmín Esquivel’s thesis is a “substantial copy” of one presented before hers.
“The plagiarism of a thesis is not minor, it is a usurpation of ideas and talents, which call into question the ethics and morals of those who commit it,” said the rector.
In December 2022, the similarities between the thesis that Yasmín Esquivel presented in 1987 to obtain her degree at FES Aragón and a work that Édgar Báez, then a student at the Faculty of Law, presented in 1986, were made public. Both works were directed by former UNAM teacher, Martha Rodríguez Ortiz.
On December 31, the Academic and Scientific Integrity Committee of the FES Aragón announced that it found a high level of coincidence between both theses; however, he did not issue his verdict from that moment.
The FES argued that at that time it did not have the support to determine who was responsible, since shortly before the Committee session began, Yasmín Esquivel presented documentation in her favor.
Esquivel assured that among the evidence he presented was a statement from a UNAM Law School graduate who admitted having taken part in his project.
After analyzing the documents presented by the minister of the SCJN, on January 11 the FES Aragón determined that Yasmín Esquivel’s thesis is a “substantial copy”. UNAM immediately acknowledged that it does not have the mechanisms to withdraw the title.
In this sense, the university did not take action against Esquivel, but did take action against Martha Rodríguez, who advised both theses involved in the case and was fired from UNAM.
After Rodríguez was notified of his dismissal. she announced that she will contest. She said that she has 43 years of experience and has directed at least 500 theses, for which she assured: “I am going to defend myself because I am a class teacher.”