· Over time, the country’s Criminal Justice System showed clear signs of exhaustion, particularly in the face of the sharp increase in violence and insecurity reported in the country during the first decade of this century.
· This national effort has shown that the structural changes required by Mexico can only be realized with an authentic state vision that goes beyond political differences, electoral calendars and periods of government, he said.
· President Enrique Peña Nieto led the event to mark the entry into force of the New Criminal Justice System throughout the country.
As he led the event to mark the entry into force of the New Criminal Justice System throughout the country, President Enrique Peña Nieto declared: “We have taken a decisive step towards providing society with closer, more transparent and effective justice”.
“Let us make the new system the emblem of a country committed to legality and the rule of law,” he declared.
The president declared that over time, “The country’s Criminal Justice System showed clear signs of exhaustion, particularly in the face of the sharp increase in violence and insecurity reported in the country during the first decade of this century.”
“It was then that Civil Society raised its voice with unprecedented vigor, to demand and contribute to a qualitative change in criminal justice. The voices of citizens showed us that we could not overcome the challenges of the twenty-first century with laws, mechanisms and procedures of the last century,” he said.
“With a constructive spirit, tenacity and perseverance, they managed to persuade the Mexican State as a whole to carry out an unprecedented effort of institutional transformation. That is precisely what we are celebrating today,” he added.
He said that this is a historic moment for the country, in which “Mexicans can and should be very proud to have achieved the most significant legal transformation of the past 100 years.”
President Peña Nieto explained that in order to give an idea of the scope of this enormous effort, “In the past eight years, more than 21 billion pesos have been invested in the implementation of the reform, 89 percent of which have been spent during this Administration.”
“This national effort has shown that the structural changes required by Mexico can only be achieved through an authentic state vision that goes beyond political differences, electoral calendars and periods of government,” he said.
He explained that in the consolidation phase that begins today, “We will also require the will, commitment and work of the Mexican State as a whole”.
“In particular, I respectfully urge the legislative and judicial branches, local governments, academia and civil society organizations, to keep the cause of Criminal Justice a national priority.”
The president said that, “In order to design this new model, twenty-one federal and national laws were created or reformed and over 350 local laws were modified.”
“Laws such as the National Code of Criminal Procedure and the National Law of Alternative Conflict Resolution Mechanisms in Criminal Matters, complement the system and allow for more reliable justice,” he added.
He expressed his thanks to the, “Federal lawmakers during the extraordinary period of session for approving the complementary regulations of the Adversarial Criminal Justice System.”
He also stressed that this new model, “Applies for Military Justice, through the Amendment to the Military Code of Criminal Procedures and the new Oral Justice Halls created.” Their updating, he said, “Reaffirms the commitment of our armed forces to due process and respect for human rights”.
The president also praised, “The work of members of the judiciary, at both the federal and local levels, in renovating and upgrading its infrastructure, and in selecting and training the magistrates, judges, secretaries and actuaries who will deliver justice.”
He said that during the implementation stage, “We had the support of several friendly countries, which generously shared their experiences, particularly Canada and the United States”.
President Peña Nieto said that, “In the government, we are determined to make the necessary adjustments, and to change whatever is necessary to bring our security and law enforcement institutions into line with this transformation.”
He thanked members of the Coordination Council for the Implementation of the Criminal Justice System and its Technical Secretariat, “Who led the efforts to meet the deadline set in the Constitutional Reform”.
Locally, he explained, “The governors and the Mayor of Mexico City firmly advocated the process. This has been borne out by the training of over 400,000 operators of the System and more than 240,000 public safety officers”.
In the event, held in the forecourt of the Altar to the Fatherland, President Peña Nieto, together with Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Deputies Jesús Zambrano Grijalva; the Chairman of the Board of the Senate Roberto Gil Zuarth; and Minister Luis María Aguilar Morales, President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, signed the Agreement between the three branches of government for the Consolidation of the Criminal Justice System.
The president also issued a postage stamp commemorating “2016 New Criminal Justice System” and witnessed the symbolic striking of the mallet to mark the conclusion of the implementation of Penal Justice Reform by the President of the Supreme Court of Justice at 00.00 hours.
PENAL REFORM IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A SYSTEM THAT ACTS effectively and transparently TO PUNISH THE GUILTY AND PROTECT VICTIMS: OSORIO CHONG
Interior Secretary Miguel Angel Osorio Chong explained that achieving the Amendment to the Criminal Justice System, “In addition to being a constitutional mandate is a great opportunity; the opportunity to have a system that acts effectively and transparently to punish offenders and protect victims.”
He said that in keeping with the president’s instructions, “This great process of change at the national level” was promoted to secure its implementation at the local level. This achieved, he said, “By acting with strategy and determination, defining priorities and establishing routes of action with each of the parties involved, with other orders of government and branches of power collaborating with society as never before”.
Through this transformation, he said, the aim is, “To consolidate the rule of law in Mexico to translate concepts into reality; to go from changes in the law to changes in institutions; to enforce the constitutional mandate for the benefit of each and every Mexican”.
He noted that eight years after the constitutional amendment was passed and minutes before the entry into force of the New Criminal Justice System, “The facts show that President Enrique Peña Nieto’s government is a government committed to justice that is able to set aside differences in order to advance in coincidences, which not only acts in response to specific situations but also for the benefit of the nation’s project.”
WHAT HAS BEEN DONE CONSTITUTES A WATERSHED IN THE DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE IN MEXICO: LUIS MARÍA AGUILAR
Minister Luis María Aguilar Morales, President of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, said that the implementation of the new Criminal Justice System nationwide, “Constitutes no less than a state reform”. We have undertaken the complete renovation of one of the essential arms, both of public law and the legal organization of any society.”
What has been done so far by all those involved, he said, ”Constitutes a watershed in the conception and implementation of penal justice in Mexico.”
He said that, “The Judicial Power of the Federation is committed to achieving an efficient system to resolve criminal problems from the first stage to the repair of damage, with absolute respect for the fundamental rights of all involved, including of course the accused, but equally the victims.”
THE NEW MODEL OF ADMINISTERING JUSTICE IS APPROPRIATE FOR THE 21ST CENTURY: Jesús Zambrano Grijalva
Jesús Zambrano Grijalva, Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Deputies, said that the New Criminal Justice System, “Is a 21st Century model, essential for modernizing and update our legal and judicial system.”
He explained that it has specific goals which, through its development over time, should put an end to the inquisitorial system, whose characteristics are sluggishness, bureaucracy, excessive solemnity, widespread corruption and a divergence from true justice.
He mentioned that, “The media, analysts and critics have already begun to say that the new system has problems and questions its effectiveness.” But, he said, “We must be very clear about this. Despite all the problems that may emerge in the implementation of the new system, the new one is infinitely superior to and better than the previous one.”
THE NEW CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS ONE OF THE GREATEST LEGAL AND INSTITUTIONAL TRANSFORMATIONS IN OUR HISTORY: GIL ZUARTH
Roberto Gil Zuarth, Chairman of the Board of the Senate, described the New Criminal Justice System as, “One of the greatest legal and institutional transformations in our history.”
He said that, “The time has come to take care of this institutional progress and the system, not only with an absolutely determined attitude because this model works, but with everyone doing his or her share."
He noted that it is, “A profound change, a change that involves a new way of administering justice in our country, understanding the law, implementing the law in a reasoned way and also of constructing the law.”
LET'S WORK TO STRENGTHEN A PENAL SYSTEM THAT WILL PROVIDE MEXICO WITH A SYSTEM OF JUSTICE PEOPLE CAN CONFIDENTLY APPROACH: MIGUEL ÁNGEL MANCERA
Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera Espinosa declared that it is necessary to continue working together to achieve a penal system model that is truly useful for people and really serves the most vulnerable. “In short, let us work to consolidate a Penal System that will provide Mexico with a system of justice people can confidently approach.”
He noted that Mexico is currently undergoing a process of institutional restructuring that is impacting many areas of public life. He declared that this is a historic event where all the representatives of the state and federal governments, in compliance with the Constitutional mandate, jointly undertook a mission to move towards a new way of seeking and imparting justice in criminal issues.
“We should thank those who paved the way and supported us and guided others. This obviously means the legislators, judges, lawyers, experts, police officers, civil society, academics, media and you yourself, Mr. President, for the follow-up you have given the constitutional mandate from your government,” said Mancera Espinosa.
NEVER BEFORE HAS A PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC BEEN SO DEEPLY INVOLVED IN A REFORM OF JUSTICE: MAGISTRATE EDGAR ELIAS AZAR
Magistrate Edgar Elías Azar, President of the National Commission of Mexican Supreme Courts of Justice, said that the constitutional eight-year deadline was met, in a healthy, vigorous desire to receive this new millennium with a new system of justice, “Without missteps, delays, interruptions or pauses.“
Elías Azar, who is also President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico City, stressed that we are witnessing an effort by and for Mexicans; in a project of national interest and scope. “All the states, all the branches of government and society as a whole. Never before has a president been so deeply involved in a reform of and for justice.
In this regard, he declared that President Enrique Peña Nieto's momentum and encouragement have been decisive in this process, and that today marks the end of a formidable stage in the country's history, of an unprecedented nature and scope. “You, Mr. President, have coordinated a new, active form of federalism, based on sovereignty and collaboration.”