• ”It is a historic event in the justice of our country; over 100 years of following a model that is now changing with a purpose: to ensure that Mexico has effective administration of justice”.
  • He instructed the Interior Secretary to find, together with the civil society organizations, mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the new model of justice to enrich and above all ensure that the model works well for the whole country.

As he inaugurated “Eighth National Forum on Security and Justice, justice we deserve: from implementation of consolidation” today, President Enrique Peña Nieto, said that the country's new Criminal Justice System will come into force on June 18.

He explained that it has taken eight years for Mexican State institutions to be prepared for the entry into force of this new model of criminal justice. He explained that this grace period of eight years expires on June 18, “Which will mark not the end but rather the start of this new model, whose efficiency will be tested.”

The president explained that we are witnessing a historic event in the justice of our country; over 100 years of following a model that is now changing with a purpose: to ensure that Mexico has effective administration of justice”.

He said that the justice model followed by our country for over 100 years, "”Showed signs of weakness, exhaustion and inability to fulfill the mandate of our Constitution: to ensure that among Mexicans, justice at all levels, but especially penal justice, is prompt and efficient.”

"This step we are taking is absolutely relevant and meaningful for our country, because it is designed to achieve what is most important: for Mexican society to be able to trust and find that this model of justice really fully administers justice, as mandated by our Constitution,” he said.

President Peña Nieto recalled that ten years ago, “Various civil society organizations proposed to drive change in this model of justice, to make one with different characteristics.” He therefore thanked the civil organizations engaged in this work: “Your effort has not been in vain."

The president instructed the Interior Secretary to find, together with civil society organizations, mechanisms to ensure that once the new model of criminal justice comes into force, “We will be able to monitor and evaluate it and provide feedback based on the experiences in every state and at the federal level, which will allow us to enrich and above all ensure that the model works well for the whole country.”

THE NEW PENAL SYSTEM IS An unPRECEDENTed event in MEXICO’s LEGAL history: LUIS MARÍA AGUILAR

Minister Luis María Aguilar Morales, President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, said that the implementation phase of the new Criminal Justice System is about to be successfully concluded. “It is an unprecedented event in the legal history of our country,” he said.

He said that its implementation, “Means we are on the right track to change the historical inertia that comes from centuries ago, which does not make it bad in itself. However, the development of the recognition and progress in respect for all rights forced us to rethink and change track, which will satisfy the desires of an increasingly participatory, informed and demanding society.”

He said that in the past eight years, especially the past year and a half, the groundwork has been laid in the Council of the Federal Judiciary Branch to create a physical and human structure to satisfy the new Federal Criminal Justice. He announced that Justice Centers already exist in all states, as well as judges to attend them in good conditions.

He said that 118 District Judges, who underwent 14 rigorous selection and training processes, have been appointed to serve in them. “We have therefore not only complied with the law, but have also avoided any influence on the appointment of judges other than their training, their capacity and, of course, eliminated any possibility of nepotism or improper designation.”

He explained that in the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation website, there is direct access in the Semanario Judicial  to all the criteria adopted regarding the new system, in addition to a chapter on jurisprudence concerning the human rights protected and recognized in the Constitution. The Judicial Power of the Federation assumes its commitment, he declared. ”We will not cease our efforts to meet our commitment to the people of Mexico.”

COORDINATION ESSENTIAL TO ADVANCING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE NEW CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM: ALEJANDRO MARTÍ

Alejandro Martí García, President of Mexico SOS, said that coordination has been essential to achieving the current progress in the implementation of the new Criminal Justice System, which has combined the knowledge, experience and capabilities of the three branches of the government and those of the states.

He said that continuity is essential for the new stage and therefore urged the Coordination Council to remain in place for the Implementation of the new Criminal Justice System.

He said that, “Such an important, paradigmatic reform must be monitored in the coming years,” noting that “without this Council, which combines the Federal Powers, academia and the public, we cannot guarantee success in changing mindsets or correcting small details to achieve the justice citizens so need.”

He explained that, eight years since the Penal Reform, a new Criminal Justice System has been launched, which seeks prompt, expeditious justice for all, in addition to legal equality between victims and aggressors, without benefiting  one over the other, so that human rights are provided for both parties.

He explained that, “There are many actors and people fighting for the greatness of our country and we will continue to remain firm, with renewed hope and with the certainty that in this new stage, the consolidation of a new system of justice, will provide increasingly tangible benefits for every Mexican.”

He said that, “Confidence in our institutions is essential for an authentic democratic life”.

A REFORM SUCH AS THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN MEXICO HAD NEVER BEEN ATTEMPTED IN LATIN AMERICA: MIGUEL CARBONELL

Miguel Carbonell Sánchez, a researcher at the UNAM Institute for Legal Research, said that never in the legal history of Latin America had a reform been attempted on such as scale as the transformation of the criminal procedure undertaken in Mexico.

He recalled that the cases of Colombia and Chile are often cited, but stated that their geographical conditions, population, size and form of government make comparisons impossible.

He said that, in 2008, Mexico decided to undertake a legal transformation of heroic proportions. Therefore, he added, “It is now up to us to join together to make such purposes everyday realities.”

He recommended, “Having mechanisms for the  evaluation and monitoring of the daily progress of the reform, almost in real time. This task could be performed by the Technical Secretariat of the Coordinating Council for the Implementation of the Criminal Justice System when its legal mandate expires, which will occur before the end of the year.”

He said that on the entry into force of the new Criminal Justice System, on June 18, society should be informed of the new system and the rules to be applied from that date onwards, particularly as regards pretrial detention and the presumption of innocence.

He said that lawyers must be trained in oral litigation techniques; and that public officials must be taught to undertake professional investigations, collect evidence and perform the various stages of criminal proceedings effectively. Efforts must also be made to complement the legal framework to ensure that the rules of the system are clear and known to all operators, and jurisprudential interpretations must be developed so that the organs of the judiciary can clearly define the criteria for applying the new regulations.