As the United States is realizing, changes in the Mexican justice system can be slow and expensive, but an investment they are willing to make. This week the United States Government announced it would invest $68 million into the effort to overhaul Mexico’s justice system over the next five years.
The planned reform in Mexico’s justice system is one that all states in the union are legally obligated to meet by 2016, but only a fraction of states have begun the process.
In 2008 Mexico amended its constitution to make way for judicial system changes and allowed eight years for all states to comply with the new federal laws. Many U.S. – trained attorneys have been appointed as trainers to send layers, judges, investigators, and even clerks through a crash course in justice, yet little has changed in the last six years after the amendments were put into effect.
The new legal system is largely based on the legal system of that in the United States with defendants, prosecutors, and open courtrooms with the accused presumed innocent until proven guilty, a concept that has escaped Mexico’s legal system.
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Currently the Mexican legal system is a slow and cumbersome, paper-trail based prehistoric dated system that has served as a point for corruption in the country for decades, something the United States has an interest and investment into correcting with their neighbors to the south.
In recent weeks, Mexico has exploded in violent protests over 43 missing students in the state of Guerrero, which has highlighted the inefficiency of the Mexican justice system and has caused concern for the United States Government. This week the United States warned its citizens of travel to the state of Guerrero and the tourist destination of Acapulco in the state.
It’s believed that Mexico misses out on millions of dollars in foreign investment and business due to the worldwide view of the country being a “lawless” or “narco society”, reasons supporters of the changes are eager to see them move forward and welcome the United States investment in the process.