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UNAM head blasts Supreme Court justice for plagiarism, to explore additional actions

A Mexican Supreme court justice whose law school thesis was plagiarized remains on the bench, and her alma mater says it is exploring what more it can do.

But for the time being, Mexico’s highest court and the country’s most important higher education institution — the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM — find themselves trapped by the scandal. Justice Yasmín Esquivel refusesto step down, and the university says it is not within its power to strip Esquivel of her degree despite the brazen plagiarism it substantiated.

On Friday, Rector Enrique Graue addressedthe scandal publicly, saying Esquivel’s “lack of academic integrity” has seriously harmed UNAM and the tens of thousands of students who have honestly completed their thesis requirements.

He described plagiarism as a “reprehensible act” that “calls into question the ethics and morals of whoever commits it.”

He concluded by saying that once ongoing investigations are complete, UNAM will analyze additional actions it could take against Esquivel.

Murphy Woodhouse was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2018 to 2023.