SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — María Elena Andrade Ramírez is now Baja California’s Attorney General after her nomination was approved by the state’s congress on Wednesday night.

Following the vote, she was sworn in to replace Iván Carpio Sánchez, who suddenly resigned from the post earlier this month.

Baja California Gov. Marina del Pilar Ávila Olmeda nominated Andrade Ramírez.

Some members of the state congress, however, refused to participate in the vote and abstained from the process.

Representative Marco Antonio Blásquez said he and others were not allowed to interview the nominee nor were they allowed to participate in Andrade Ramírez’s vetting process.

“The governor was obligated to share this responsibility with other elected officials, but she chose to take an autonomous decision,” said Blásquez. “The nominee doesn’t have the requisites to hold this title.”

María Elena Andrade Ramírez is sworn in as the new Baja California state Attorney General. (State of Baja California)

Tijuana’s Citizens Committee for Public Safety called Ramírez’s appointment “a lost opportunity.”

“The way she was selected is erroneous; teleconferences via Zoom are not enough to select your state attorney general,” said Edgardo Flores Campbell, head of the Citizens Committee for Public Safety. “I believe people in academia, lawyers and civic groups should be allowed to participate while taking their time to select the right person without a rush and not just doing what’s best for the governor.”

Flores Campbell said this was an opportunity to reaffirm how this process is supposed to work with public input and citizens involvement.

“This person needs to be competent with the capacity to fulfill the job, with academic preparation and experience in prosecution … it should not be just some political compromise,” he said.

For the last two years, Andrade Ramírez has been the head of Baja California’s prison system.

From 2019 to 2021, she served as Mexicali’s Chief of Public Safety when Ávila Olmeda was the mayor of that city.

Ávila Olmeda insisted Baja’s new attorney general is the right person for the job.

“She is a woman who has gained great results with our prison system, with excellent and exemplary results at the national level, I’m confident she’ll have same results with her new position,” said Ávila Olmeda.