Strengthening Criminal Justice Systems in Mexico
In 2010-2011, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada provided JES with funding to conduct a legal needs assessment in Mexico’s five southern states: Campeche, Yucatán, Quintana Roo, Chiapas and Tabasco.
To begin the assessment, JES team members conducted a scoping mission to Mexico City in November 2010 to meet with key partners involved in justice reform, followed by trips in January 2011 and in March 2011 across the five southern states.
We evaluated the capacity of each state’s criminal justice system—particularly their collection and handling of physical evidence at crime scenes, the conduct of criminal investigations, and the preparation of evidence for trial.
Our assessment led to the development of a major training proposal for police and prosecutors in the five southern states. The resulting project included:
- Education and Training for Judges to increase their ability to manage the adversarial system
- National/State Licensing system and Education for Lawyers to support the Mexican government in establishing a governance system, standards of professional conduct, and a code of ethics for lawyers
- Harmonization of Criminal Legislation and Strengthening of Prosecution Services to assist the Mexican government in developing a strategy to improve the integrity and quality of the criminal justice system
- 100 Mexican justice sector professionals consulted during events and meetings across the country
- 4 training modules designed for police and prosecutors in the five southern Mexican states
- Completion and launch of MexicanJustice.ca website, featuring articles on the Mexican criminal justice system reform, archived and accessible to Canadian stakeholders
- An invitation to JES by the Department of Justice of Mexico to develop and conduct a seminar/training session in Mérida, Yucatán in November 2010 for 60 Mexican prosecutors