January 29, 2013
The Wall Street Journal, 1/23/2013
Mexico’s Supreme Court on Wednesday freed a Frenchwoman who had been found guilty of kidnapping and jailed since 2005, arguing that her case was plagued by police abuse, including the staging of her arrest for broadcast on live television.
“The good news is that there is a reform process on the way,” said Eric Olson, Associate Director of the Latin American Program at Washington’s Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars “The Supreme Court is a much more independent actor, and is willing to stand up for basic procedures and guarantees. But there is much more to be done.”
Mr. Olson said the Cassez case highlights the dilemma that all countries face, including the U.S., when they face a violent threat, be it kidnapping or terrorism. “There is an enormous temptation when have such a threat to throw out the rule of law,” he said. “Mexico and any country are better off in the long run strengthening the rule of law.”
January 16, 2013
Fox News Latino, 1/16/2013
Mexico’s first survey of its federal criminal justice system confirmed what many have assumed for years: The country’s prisons are packed with inmates imprisoned on drug charges and there is widespread corruption throughout the entire system.
August 19, 2010
Associated Press, 8/19/2010
President Felipe Calderon said Mexico should consider appointing anonymous judges for drug trafficking trials, an unexpected proposal that he acknowledged contradicts the country’s efforts to build a more open judicial system.
Calderon, who raised the idea Thursday during meeting with senators on national security, said Mexico should at least consider the idea as drug cartels stage increasingly bold attacks on public official at all levels.
“I recognize that this goes against … our legal tradition,” Calderon said. “But in all honesty, gentlemen, I have found that citizens, police, judges, prosecutors are at risk, in the sense that they are completely exposed to criminal vengeance.”
“We should consider whether this is valid or not, whether anonymous judges would work or not,” Calderon said.
It was a surprise comment from the Mexican leader, who has touted an ongoing reform of Mexico’s secretive, inquisitorial judicial system. That overhaul, backed by millions of dollars in U.S. aid, will create an accusatory system that puts the burden of proof on prosecutors and establish oral trials to replace proceedings now carried out almost entirely in writing.