WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
16 Feb 2021 | News

Mexico Anti-Impunity Campaign Update

Since fall 2020, WOLA has been a part of Mexico’s Collective Against the Epidemic of Impunity (Colectivo contra la Impunidemia), a campaign against proposed reforms to the recently established National Prosecutor’s Office (Fiscalia General de la Republica, FGR). Thus far, the campaign has released materials and participated in a hearing before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights criticizing the reforms, which suggest dramatic steps backwards for the FGR with respect to transparency, independence, and public input/oversight, among other concerning proposals.

Last October, in the collective’s first event, criminal justice experts from across the region gathered to discuss what an effective National Prosecutor’s Office could look like. The speakers spoke about practical reforms to improve and streamline the work of the FGR, including:

  • The importance of comprehensive criminal investigations focused on macro criminal trends instead of case-by-case strategies that do not dismantle criminal networks.
  • Good relationships with victims and with civil society organizations, who can provide key information to investigators and reinforce the work of prosecutors
  • Plans for investigations that take into account the broader context of a crime 
  • Internal integrity, enforced by investigations and the dismissal of staff accused of illegal practices such as torture
  • Deliberate monitoring of police and military archives
  • Bringing in independent investigators when necessary
  • More investigations into organized crime, as 80% of current investigations are focused on minor crimes
  • Better cooperation between police and prosecutors and improved clarity on the role of police in investigating crimes

Read a summary of the event in Spanish here, or watch the event here.

Speakers included:

  • Ivan Velasquez, a Colombian lawyer and international anti-corruption consultant
  • Claudia Paz y Paz, Director of the Mexico and Central America program at CEJIL, former FGR of Guatemala
  • Ruth Fierro, General Coordinator of the Center for Women’s Human Rights, Chihuahua, Mexico
  • Ernesto Peralta, the Executive director of Borde Juridico, Mexico
  • Moderator: Ana Lorena Delgadillo, Executive director of the Fundación para la Justicia y el Estado Democrático de Derecho, México