03/18/13 – The Mexican federal government is set to distribute approximately 458 million Mexican pesos (roughly $36.678 million USD) during the remainder of 2013, divided up among Mexican states to support the state level implementations of the new criminal justice system (Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal, NSJP). The Mexican Official Journal of the Federation (Diario Oficial de la Federación, DOF) published guidelines that states have to comply with in order to receive the federal funds. The requirements set forth by the DOF and pending distribution of funds are based on three indicators for each state: population size, crime rates, and the level of progress already made within the state to implement the new judicial system.
The guidelines published by the federal government consist of 33 key points for states to follow that largely deal with program monitoring, evaluation, and budgetary control, among other areas. Given that each state is moving at its own pace in the implementation process, regulations vary depending on if the state has already implemented the system, if it is partially operating under the system, or if it is still in the implementation process. Among the requirements for states to receive financial assistance is that state governments are expected to routinely update their websites with the progress of their implementation, as well as summit their progress reports and results to the Technical Secretariat of the Coordinating Council for the Implementation of the Criminal Justice System (Secretaría Técnica del Consejo de Coordinación para la Implementación del Sistema de Justicia Penal, SETEC), which operates under the Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación, SEGOB). SETEC is also in charge of working with the states to sign the new agreement in order to distribute the funds if the requirements are met.
Earlier this year, President Enrique Peña Nieto urged Congress and states to accelerate the implementation process for the new criminal justice system, with a specific call to strengthen areas of law enforcement and judicial administration. The new judicial system is to be implemented nationwide by 2016, as set forth in the 2008 constitutional reforms passed under former President Felipe Calderón (2006-2012).
“ACUERDO por el que se establecen las políticas para la obtención y aplicación de los recursos destinados a la implementación de la Reforma del Sistema de Justicia Penal a favor de las entidades federativas para el ejercicio fiscal 2013.” Diario Oficial de la Federación. March 13, 2013.