EPN: Our rights are in danger
Article published originally in weekly magazine Proceso
The right to travel, the right to privacy, and the presumption of innocence are basic prerogatives of the governed in a democratic society. Once again, Enrique Peña Nieto’s government has decreed regressive measures that ought to be fought socially and legally. Let’s talk about them:
Firstly, Mexican jurist, Luis M. Pérez de Hacha —during an interview, and in a discussion with Gaby Frías at CNN— spoke about the great danger that hangs over people. On April 1st, 2015, new regulations will come into effect. These regulations of the Mexican Federal Tax Authority (SAT) got legal support from Customs Law reforms, made by former President Vicente Fox back in 2001 after 9/11 in order to increase the security of flights over Mexican territory. This way, on January 1st, 2003, Article 7 of Customs Law, which delegates the adoption of security measures to SAT, was reformed. These rules were never implemented until the government of Enrique Peña Nieto. The Law gives SAT’s rules an enclosed and limited meaning by its spirit expressed in the preliminary recitals of the Law. However, this organization gets into our drawers, not even the ones in the kitchen, but in our rooms. Indeed, SAT first issued Rule 1.9.1 of the General Foreign Trade Rules in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) on August 29th, 2014. This rule was made to adjust to the polemic Article 7 of Customs Law, which established: “For the purposes of Article 7, first paragraph of the law, and Article 5 of the Regulations, airlines carrying passengers from overseas must transmit information about the passengers and the crew they carry, coming from overseas to national territory, as well as from national territory to other countries to the SAT electronic system. Airlines that carry out operations outside of the itinerary for other purposes than the carrying of passengers, cargo, and mail shall not be forced to transmit this information concerning the crew of these special flights.”
Then, on December 29th of that same year, “while they were on the subject” of this government of uneducated despotism, Rule 1.9.21 Sixth Modification to the General Rules, whose content shatters Article 16 first paragraph of the Constitution. The rule says: “For the purposes of Article 7, first paragraph of the Law, Article 5 of the Regulations, and Rule 1.9.1, airlines carrying passengers from overseas into national territory or from national territory to other countries, must electronically transmit the following information to the SAT: I. Passenger Name Record (PNR). II. Flight reservation date. III. Date of intended arrival. IV. Name and last name of the passenger and/or companions (under the same reservation). V. Available information of payment methods (cash, credit card, or others). VI. Flight schedule for specific PNR. VII. Information of shared PNR (PNR assigned to the passenger when the flight is carried out by a different airline than the one that sold the ticket, according to service agreements between airlines). VIII. Name of the travel agency or travel agent. Additionally, they may also transmit the following records: I. Available contact information. II. Available frequent flyer and benefits information (e.g. free tickets, change of status, etc.). III. Divided information (when the reservation applies to two or more people, and some of them take a different route or flight from the group, the name and itinerary of each PNR shall be provided). IV. Current status of the passenger’s flight (including confirmations and registration). V. Registration information (including ticket number, one-way tickets, and automated ticket fare quote). VI. Luggage information. VII. Seat information (including seat number). VIII. General observations of information about special services required by the passenger. IX. Advance Passenger Information System (APIS). X. History about changes to the PNR (referent to prior numbers). The information mentioned in the previous paragraphs shall be provided 72 hours prior flight takeoff, and shall be updated within 48, 24, and 8 hours prior flight takeoff...”
As one can see here, former SAT measures, which are very useful for the Center for Research and National Security (CISEN), are typical of a Nazi regime, and go against human rights, as pointed out by the European Union which refuses observance of these terms based on how blatantly Peña Nieto wants to strip the rights of Mexicans. As expected, this rule shall be used against any enemy of the government. These rules are unfair and illegal in essence. Furthermore, in the hands of EPN’s government, they are like gold dust to those who criticize the regime and seek to raise awareness among those who what to get away from constructive criticism. This shatters privacy. What does the government care if someone travels on aisle, middle, or window? What does the government care if some carries five pieces of underwear, or only two? Can you trust EPN’s government with your personal data? Me neither. Starting tomorrow the government will know the purpose of your travel, where are you staying, what will you eat, the list of interviews, or travel activities. These are private life topics of the governed, which is why EPN’s new authoritarian measures must not be allowed to pass.