Human Rights and Civil Society

Coahuila approves new Code of Criminal Procedure

02/18/12 – Coahuila took a big step towards the implementation of the new criminal justice system with the approval of the new Code of Criminal Procedure.  The code, enacted by Governor Ruben Moreira in a formal ceremony on February 16, 2012, was unanimously accepted by the Congress of Coahuila with 21 votes in favor, zero against, and no abstentions.

Governor Moreira presided over the official ratification ceremony of the new code, which was attended by the president of the local Congress, Eliseo Mendoza Berrueto, the president of the State Court, Gregorio Pérez Mata, and the president of the Citizen Security Council, Armando Gutiérrez, among others. The Governor recalled that the United Nations urged Mexico to transition away from the inquisitorial model of justice and towards the adversarial system, which is based on oral and public proceedings that guarantee full procedural fairness. Moreira recognized, however, that the state would face challenges in its implementation of the new judicial system, including insufficient infrastructure and the reality of training prosecutors and judges.

The Coahuila state constitution has been reformed over the past few years to include language based on the 2008 federal reforms, such as the adversarial and oral process, mechanisms for enhancing access to justice, and the creation of a system of alternative dispute resolution. The state’s Commission for Study and Analysis (Comisión de Análisis y Estudio) was later created to oversee the local implementation of the new system of justice. Despite these early positive steps, the broader reform in the state appeared to have stalled until the recent approval of the new Code of Criminal Procedure. With this, Coahuila significantly advances toward meeting the 2016 nation-wide implementation, set forth by the constitutional reforms in 2008.


Ingram, Matthew C. et Shirk David A. “Judicial Reform in Mexico: Toward a New Criminal Justice System.” Trans-Border Institute. May 2010.

Corresponsalía. “Aprueban en Coahuila nuevo sistema penal.” El Universal. February 2, 2012.

González, Edgar. “Promulga Rubén Moreira nuevo Código de Procedimientos Penales de Coahuila.” Vanguardia. February 16, 2012.

González, Edgar. “Abre Rubén puerta a los juicios orales.” Vanguardia. February 17, 2012.

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