The Complutense University distances itself from Esquivel’s doctoral degree | The USA Print

The Complutense University of Madrid has distanced itself from the doctoral degree of Yasmín Esquivel, Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico, which she obtained in 2009 from the Anahuac University with a paper in which she plagiarized 209 of the 456 pages, as revealed by the last week an investigation by EL PAÍS. In her biography that she sent to the Senate to be elected minister in 2019, Esquivel noted that she obtained her doctorate at the Anahuac University “in coordination” with the Complutense University. In the profile of her on the website of the Supreme Court, she also assures that she is a doctor of Law from the Mexican university “in agreement” with the one from Madrid. However, directors of the Complutense have clarified that Esquivel never supported her doctoral thesis in the Spanish house of studies, so she cannot be considered one of her doctors. “For all intents and purposes, you are a doctor from the Complutense when you have done your thesis at the university and it has been defended in a Complutense court. In the case of Minister Esquivel, the Complutense has nothing to do with it,” says a spokesperson for the Madrid university. Esquivel, asked in this regard, has assured through intermediaries that she never claimed to be a doctor from the Complutense.

The link, in any case, of the minister with the Spanish house of studies is verified. She began with some courses of subjects taught by professors from the Complutense in Mexico thanks to a cooperation agreement with Anahuac. This Wednesday, in response to questions from this newspaper, the minister has sent, through her private secretary, documents that show that she took and satisfactorily completed her subjects at the Spanish university. For completing these courses, she was awarded a diploma and recognized as a doctoral candidate. But, according to the Complutense, her relationship with the minister never went from there.

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In Esquivel’s doctoral degree work, called Fundamental rights in Mexico and their defense, the judge plagiarized 46% of the text from 12 authors. The Complutense has come out of the controversy caused by this plagiarism, which joins that of another previous thesis by Esquivel, the degree of the year 1987, which is being analyzed by the UNAM and which in a first opinion it was proven that it was of a “substantial copy” of another student’s degree work submitted a year earlier.

The Dean of Law of the Spanish university, Ricardo Alonso, asked for the floor on Tuesday in the Governing Council, in which all levels are represented, to “reassure the university community.” “Thank God we have nothing to do with that doctoral thesis (…) Minister Esquivel did her thesis under her own responsibility and under Mexican supervision and there neither the Law School nor the Complutense University paint anything,” added the dean, who explained that for 20 years the Faculty of Law of the Complutense had indeed had a collaboration agreement with the University of Anahuac, “a fairly powerful private university”, but that what the professors did was only teach doctoral courses. “The agreement made it very clear that, once these courses were completed, the doctoral thesis could be prepared and defended at the Complutense or Anahuac Law School,” added Alonso.

Approving the subjects taught by the Complutense professors who had traveled to Mexico accredited Yasmín Esquivel with “research proficiency”, a requirement to start the doctoral thesis. At that point, the now minister had the option of choosing where to carry out her thesis. In 2001, Esquivel came to register her project with the Complutense, almost with the same title that she would finally have years later. The Spanish university validated his registration and assigned him a director. However, a spokesman for the Madrid center assures EL PAÍS that the procedures did not go beyond that registration. Esquivel never started his thesis at the Complutense, instead he opted for Anahuac where he presented it in 2008, advised by a professor from that university. The work was read and approved by seven synods, also from the Mexican school.

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Recognition of research sufficiency from the Complutense University, minimum requirement to start the doctorate at said school.The country

In conversation with this newspaper, Dean Alonso, who was Esquivel’s professor in Mexico, recalls the conditions of the agreement. Between the mid-nineties and up to a decade ago, eight tenured professors or professors from the Complutense traveled to the country every year to teach three hours a day of the same subject for two weeks -a total of 30 hours- as in the doctorate in Law of The company in Madrid: matters of administrative, commercial jurisprudence…

Alonso estimates that between 200 and 300 students took the course, which in his opinion “died” due to the lack of interest of the Anahuac, which did not promote it, 85% already from professions (judges, notaries, lawyers) and 15 % recent graduates. That year 2000 Esquivel was appointed Secretary of Study and Account of the Presidency of the Superior Agrarian Court.

The dean, who does not want to get into the plagiarism issue, reports that no more than four or five Anahuac students continued their thesis in Spain and he has had contact with all of them. Among the handful of doctorates in Madrid are Ricardo Alfredo Sodi, president of the Superior Court of Justice of the State of Mexico; the well-known lawyer and academic Juan Pablo Pampillo and José Antonio Núñez, Esquivel’s thesis director.

As detailed in the EL PAÍS investigation, Esquivel plagiarized, among others, a former rector of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), a former Spanish Minister of Culture and a former president of the Supreme Court of Spain, a former president of the Inter-American Court of Rights Human Rights (CIDH), as well as Mexican, Italian, Spanish and German jurists. Two of those authors confirmed the plagiarism to this newspaper. Two Mexican academics, who reviewed the proofs blindly, without knowing that they corresponded to a work by the minister, also considered that it is plagiarism. Esquivel, after the publication of the investigation and through his lawyer, assured that the “omission” of citations to original authors in a degree work is a “deficiency” or “oversight”, but not plagiarism, especially when it comes to recognized authors who are commonly referred to by law students and professors.

Annex to the collaboration agreement between the Complutense University of Spain and the Anahuac University of Mexico.
Annex to the collaboration agreement between the Complutense University of Spain and the Anahuac University of Mexico.The country

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