Mexico City Sees 69% Drop in Inmate Population

May 21, 2015

5/21/2015 InSight Crime

hands in handcuffsOvercrowding in Mexico City’s prisons has fallen by 69 percent over the last four months thanks to reforms in the criminal justice system that could offer a solution for other Latin American countries with overpopulated penitentiary systems.

According to Hazael Ruiz Ortega, the Undersecretary for Mexico City’s Penitentiary System, the reduction is due to a reclassification of the types of crimes that are considered jailable offenses, reported El Universal.

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Upcoming Event! Economics and Transparency: Meeting the Challenge in the Americas

May 21, 2015

justice - gavel and bookWHEN: Tuesday, June 9, 1:30-5:00pm

WHERE: 6th Floor Auditorium, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


Throughout much of Latin America, the “golden years” of economic growth during the last decade’s commodity boom have given way to economic decline or stagnation. At the same time, a mobilized citizenry is demanding better government performance. These two factors have focused unprecedented attention on rule of law deficits and official corruption. Meanwhile, relations among countries of the hemisphere have grown more complex. As much as the region has welcomed the normalization of U.S.-Cuban relations, the options for international insertion now extend far beyond the Western Hemisphere.

1:30-1:45pm: Keynote Remarks
The Honorable Juan Gabriel Valdés, Ambassador of Chile to the United States

1:45-3:15pm: Combatting Corruption and Building the Rule of Law
Alejandro Ponce, World Justice Project

Carlos Fernando Chamorro, Confidencial, Nicaragua

Eduardo Bohórquez, Transparencia Mexicana

Paulo Sotero, Director, Brazil Institute, Wilson Center

Daniel Zovatto, IDEA Internacional, Costa Rica

3:15-4:30pm: Hemispheric Relations in Leaner Times: What is the Path Forward?
Ambassador Gil Rishchynski, Ambassador of Canada to the United Nations

Roberto Russell, Universidad Torcuato di Tella, Argentina

Richard Feinberg, University of California, San Diego

Maria Hermínia Tavares de Almeida, Centro Brasileiro de Analise e Planejamento, São Paulo

Cynthia Arnson, Director, Latin American Program, Wilson Center

4:30-5:00pm: Closing Keynote
The Honorable Roberta Jacobson, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs

*There will be a live webcast of this event. 

Law Will Let Some Foreign Agents Carry Weapons in Mexico

April 24, 2015

Reuters, 4/23/2015

youth with handgunMexico’s congress approved on Thursday a reform that lets some foreign agents carry arms inside the country, a significant change in a nation that has historically said the practice would violate its sovereignty.

Under the law, foreign customs and migration agents will be allowed to carry guns in previously established zones. Also, foreign leaders or heads of state will be able to enter Mexico with armed security details.

Officials say the presence of foreign agents in Mexico will speed up the joint inspection process and facilitate the flow of goods and people across borders. They also say foreign customs and migration agents at times need guns to guarantee their security given the problems of drug and human trafficking.

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Mexico’s Congress Passes Anti-Corruption Law

April 22, 2015

Reuters, 4/22/2015

Enrique Pena NietoMexico’s Congress has approved an anti-corruption law that could help relieve pressure on President Enrique Pena Nieto’s scandal-plagued government.

The law, passed late on Tuesday night, strengthens oversight of public officials and designates a special prosecutor to tackle corruption. It comes after several previous efforts to pass anti-graft measures failed.

The reform will give new powers to Mexico’s existing Federal Audit Office and the Public Administration Ministry (SFP), as well as creating a special court to oversee all corruption-related issues.

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IACHR urges Mexico to study “coercion” of families of 43 missing students

April 21, 2015

Fox News Latino, 4/20/2015

The Associated Press October 22, 2014

The Associated Press October 22, 2014

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, or IACHR, urged the Mexican government Monday to investigate the suspected “coercion” of the families who have struggled for almost seven months to find their 43 missing children.

“The security and dignity of the families must be protected, which is why the group urges whoever has been part of this further victimization to desist and demand that the incident be investigated,” the Spanish doctor Carlos Beristain, a member of the IACHR mission that is analyzing the case, told a press conference.

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Mexico Says to Investigate Reports of Police Killings

April 21, 2015

Reuters, 4/20/2015

gun - crime sceneMexico’s government said on Monday it would investigate reports that federal police killed 16 unarmed people in two attacks in January, the latest allegations to raise the specter of abuses by Mexican security forces.

The weekend reports in three media outlets on the Jan. 6 killings in the troubled western state of Michoacan contrasted with an account by the federal government that several of the deaths could have been caused by stray bullets in a gunfight.

Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said he had asked the attorney general’s office and the internal affairs department of the federal police to probe the killings in the city of Apatzingan, a flashpoint for violence in the state.

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How 100 Years of Failed Drug Policy Gave Rise to Mexico’s Cartels

April 17, 2015

4/6/2015 InSight Crime

InSightLogo_main_24bitMany say Mexico‘s war on drugs began after former President Felipe Calderon took office in 2006, but a new book suggests that the genesis was prohibitive drug policies enacted by the United States at the turn of the twentieth century, a process that was later fueled by an economic trade agreement.

In their book “A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the Mexican Drug War,” authors Mike Wallace and Carmen Boullosa argue the creation of Mexican drug cartels and the violence they have spawned is inextricably linked to proscriptive drug policies developed by the US and later adopted by Mexico.

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