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UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

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UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

Chivis
Administrator
This post was updated on .
UPDATE:  Keeping my eye on the judicial change implementations.  Newly release reports-surveys include an interesting comprehensive report of judges-proscecutors and public defenders in nine Mexican states, including my state of Coahuila!  I would had like to see Tamps included, but it is insightful nonetheless....B

The Justiciabarómetro judicial survey summarizes the findings from a poll of 276 judges, prosecutors, and public defenders in nine different Mexican states. The report was authored by Matthew C. Ingram, Octavio Rodríguez Ferreira, and David A. Shirk, and was made possible through the financial support of both The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and The Tinker Foundation.
 
The study provides new insights on the profile and opinions of judges and lawyers working in the Mexican criminal justice system. The survey is timely in that Mexico is currently working to modernize its judicial sector through a series of reforms introduced starting in 2008 and scheduled for completion by 2016.
 
Respondents from nine states were included in the survey: Baja California, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Jalisco, Michoacán, Nuevo León, Oaxaca, Yucatan, and Zacatecas. The survey includes a variety of questions on demographic characteristics, professional profile, perceptions of judicial system functioning, perceptions of lawfulness, corruption, due process and the criminal justice reform of 2008. The survey was conducted through the professional polling firm Data y Opinión Pública y Mercados (DATA-OPM), which made over 2,800 telephone calls made from October to December to the 1,098 sitting judges, prosecutors, and public defenders identified in all nine states, achieving an overall response rate of 276 completed interviews (22.4%).
 
The report provides a first look at the findings, which identify a substantial need and potential for improvement in the administration of justice in Mexico. Among concerns identified by participants’ responses are problems of workload and capacity, a disparity of opinions among professions on the efficiency of court procedures in criminal cases, and problems of adherence to due process. These findings provide useful indicators for evaluating the performance of Mexico’s criminal justice system and provide a baseline for benchmarking the future progress of the 2008 judicial reform, which introduces major changes to criminal procedure that have generated some concerns in the legal community.
 
Among this study’s findings, 36% of respondents asserted that there has been a deliberate campaign to discredit the country’s traditional system, and nearly 40% of respondents viewed the 2008 reform as the result of foreign pressure. Even so, more than 80% held generally positive views of the reform, and 76% preferred moving from Mexico’s traditional system to new “oral trials.” Only 47% of respondents believe that the reform will help to reduce criminality, but the vast majority believe that the reforms will speed up criminal proceedings (70%) and reduce corruption in the judicial sector (84%).

FULL REPORT HERE:  http://justiceinmexico.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/justiciabarometro-judicial-survey.pdf

June 2011
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Ok folks..its crap or get of the pot time for Mexico as the new judicial reform begins. radical reforms were voted into law in 2008, and the 31 states of Mexico have until 2016 to initiate into practice.   As I have posted previously prosecutors have found the new standards confusing.  In a surprisingly move of great foresight and an effective use of Merida funds U.S. is training Mexico on the new U.S. style system.   I wrote this for a professor friend and thought I would share with BB since many of us say the judicial system has to be restructured, and this is a strong start.  I tried uploading from doc but it failed so here goes not as pretty but gives the story:

US Training Mexican Prosecutors as Mexican Judicial Reforms Commence
By Chivis Escareño-Martinez

Mexico has implemented important changes in its judicial system the first and significant step towards reform in its system of justice.  Mexico passed a series of reforms in 2008 and the 31 states of Mexico have until 2016 to have them implemented and operational.  In order to have a positive impact one critical element must be present; prosecutors and evidentiary investigators and forensic specialists must be trained to effectively use the new laws.  Prosecutors have found the unfamiliar process  difficult and it is imperative that they understand the new laws and how to operate in the new open and confrontational courtroom setting.

Currently;  prosecution is conducted almost entirely on paper, a closed courtroom, and no cross examination or questioning of witnesses without a jury having instead a  one judge panel.  To better understand the existing system please view the video "Presumed Guilty" (see link at bottom).  Dramatic changes have been initiated prompted by the seemingly out of control violence by MDCs and MOC (Mexican drug cartel, Mexican organized crime groups).  These US prosecution style changes;  bring prosecutors to an open courtroom, defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, panels of judges  hear oral arguments, attorneys will be able to cross examine witnesses, and allowed into record and used in prosecution will be evidence collected on both sides of the border a huge benefit  for prosecutors.
   
 The new laws are confusing to Mexican prosecutors not educated or accustomed to a confrontational courtroom setting.
 To alleviate that problem, the United States has allocated Merida funds of 800,000USD to spend on the training of apx 200 Federal Mexican Prosecutors, investigators and forensic specialists on conducting trials and the handling of evidence.  Subsequently, the trained Mexicans  will lead workshops in Mexico on how to prosecute such crimes as drug, money laundering and other MDC/MOC offenses.  The U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona will lead the training.

In Mexico today only 2% of crimes are prosecuted but 80-95% are convicted.  The Woodrow Wilson Center hugely supports  this plan and calls this action one of the most effective use of Merida funds to date. Consensus among experts say Mexico's drug war will never be solved until there is a strong judicial system in place that will make it difficult for criminals to operate in.

It would be pragmatic for the US to challenge Central America to implement necessary judicial reforms to prosecute cartels.  Sooner better than later as the heat will be on MDCs to operate elsewhere.  MDCs have been infiltrating  Central America for years and have redesigned routes to travel through Central America in place of around those countries as in the past.  Weak institutions and corrupt governments made Central America a fertile field, especially for the Los Zetas and Sinaloa cartels who have spread throughout the region .More than 60 percent of all cocaine that reaches the U.S. now passes through Central America. Traffickers using boats and Narco-Subs have long carried their merchandize from Colombia past Central America to northern Guatemala or Mexico. But better sea patrols and after losing shipments to competitors in parts of Guatemala, cartels have shifted an important part of their transport operation to land routes through Central America, including most recently the path across northern El Salvador.

 LINK: ;  REPORT   Woodrow Wilson Center  RE: New Reform and Long Term Challanges:

 http://www.wilsoncenter.org/news/docs/Sarre%20presentation.pdf
VIDEO: Presummed Guilty:  this is a great interview with the attorneys and footage from PBS
POV (Point of view-behind the scenes of the documentary with previously unseen footage)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHTsdyMh814

Footnote:  interesting in the movie and the most dramatic emotional part of the trial was the "Careo" or faceoff allowed in Mexican courtrooms between the accused and the accuser.   An important scene is described in the interview of a deleted scene when they sneak the cameras into the courtroom and once people saw them they panicked and yelled "there are cameras!" .  It is not explained why such an integral scene was cut.  Even if you have seen the movie this 12 min video is a must see.   Below is a photo of Toñio who was wrongfully convicted of murder in Mexico and the documentary features his fight for justice.

Here is the link to the movie w/subtitles..Thanks Sr. Chivo
http://www.metatube.com/en/videos/52308/Presumed-Guilty-subtitled-in-English-Part-1a6-HD/
 
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Re: US TRAINING MX PROSECUTORS AS RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

kylesam
Question so will these courts will not have juries? only a panel of judges. I know the State of Chihuahua have already started using this type of court system but anyways its a good start.
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Re: US TRAINING MX PROSECUTORS AS RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

Chivis
Administrator
no jury of peers...i know that sucks big, but maybe in the future?
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Re: US TRAINING MX PROSECUTORS AS RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

anonymous
In reply to this post by Chivis
I can honestly say that corruption is just as bad, or even worse in America. I say that for several reasons.

  First, is the bribe. In America peoples rights are violated due to racism, bigotry etc, Not money, no bribe, that's way worse.

 Second is American law enforcement's code of silence, we all know how that works out!

 Third, and most important, in Mexico the higher up a quejoso(complainer) goes in the judicial system, the better it gets. In Mexico the Tribunal Colegiado undo much of the corruption that occurs at the Sate level, that is because they are sequestered and do not have to worry about retaliation. Unfortunately the quejoso needs a talented Mexico City attorney to litigate instead of negotiate.

 The important part to understand is that in America the higher ups don't care. Complaints about corruption go no where every time. American leadership is either still in denial, or part of the code of silence. The path to promotion requires not rocking the boat!
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Re: US TRAINING MX PROSECUTORS AS RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

Chivis
Administrator
I appreciate your comment because wow the US surely does have corruption, but nothing , NOTHING in comparison to Mexico.  WHen I arrived in Mexico I heard of the corruption, but had no comprehension of the scope of it.  It is embedded in every element of government, armed forces, politics, police etc.  There is no one that one can be sure they can trust, no agency, nothing.

While I do agree the higher level of governement is better, it still is permeated with corruption, Calderon publicy acknowledged this recently.  
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Re: UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

Chivis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Chivis
FOR THOSE OF YOU FOLLOWING THE RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORMS IN MEXICO, I JUST UPDATED MY ORIGINAL POST TO INCLUDE A NEWLY RELEASED COMPREHENSIVE REPORT OF JUDGES, PROSCECUTORS AND PUBLIC DEFENDERS IN NINE MEXICAN STATES.  
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Re: UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

drattler
Mexico is in desperate need of a functioning judiciary, when the conviction rate is 5% more or less thats insane. In Texas the criminal conviction rate is upward of 90%,now I realize that many people do not like vigerous prosecution of criminal conduct,but given the comparison USA vs Mexico I'll take USA. Mexicos corruption and tolerance for criminal conduct are cultural issues,responsible in part for Mexicos failure to prosper as it should,these reforms are a step in the right direction and need support.
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Re: UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

Chivis
Administrator
Hola Drattler!  

Conviction rate 5%?  you are being pretty liberal there partner!  jeje
All the perp walks, all the arrests, all the detainments are so very meaningless
because the reality is the conviction rate is around 3%.  

Sickening, and a glaring representation of an ineffective system that needs these changes to establish some health to the rule of law and distruction of impunity.
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Re: UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

_The Magician_
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Re: UPDATE 6/11 SURVEY JUDGES-PROSCECUTORS-PDs as RADICAL JUDICIAL REFORM COMMENCES

Chivis
Administrator
I know, I know..  If one focuses on the good people of Mexico for a moment and asks that Q, the answer  it is the number one very reason that all is allowed to happen in Mx with apparent cavalier resignation.  As good of an explanation as I have ever heard is in this new book
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