Justice in Mexico

PGR Continues ‘Purge’ of Office as 21 Prosecutors Resign

o8/04/11 — Mexico’s Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de la República, PGR) announced on Monday August 2 that 21 top federal prosecutors in Mexico’s 31 states and one district have stepped down, although it is unclear whether they were resignations or firings. The historic move has called attention to the massive cleansing the PGR has undergone recently, notably since Attorney General Marisela Morales came to office in April 2011. In July, 140 police officers were fired under Morales’ approval while 280 more are currently being investigated. Last week, 111 PGR staff members and officials were released after being charged with crimes, while 192 are under investigation for failing to adequately process cases, and an “additional 386 employees are in the process of being dismissed,” according to multiple news reports.

The PGR overhaul comes on the heels of increased criticism and frustration following a number of failed cases brought by the PGR against high profile drug traffickers and Mexican officials, including the recently dropped case against Jorge Hank Rhon, Tijuana’s former mayor. (Read more about the Hank case here). Following the office’s announcement Monday regarding the federal prosecutors’ resignations, Morales released a statement to the press. As quoted by the Los Angeles Times, she noted, “the purge is fundamental within the PGR to give citizens the results they legitimately demand. The Mexico of today requires that those of us in public office act with total dedication and responsibility of service.”

According to Vanguardia, the 21 federal prosecutors released are from Aguascalientes, Chiapas, Coahuila, Durango, the Federal District, the State of Mexico, Guanajuato, Hidalgo, Jalisco, Michoacán, Morelos, Oaxaca, Querétaro, Quintana Roo, San Luis Potosí, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, Tlaxcala, Veracruz, and Zacatecas. In response to the announcement, President Felipe Calderón recognized Morales’ actions, and offering his congratulations to the organization “for its efforts to cleanse and strengthen the PGR.”


Castillo, Mariano. “Mexican attorney general shakes up her ranks.” CNN World. July 21, 2011.

Associate Press. “21 top prosecutors quit at Mexico continues purge.” Miami Herald. August 1, 2011.

“Marisela Morales celebra la depuración de delegados en la PGR.” Vanguardia. August 1, 2011.

Ramos, Jorge. “Calderón se congratula por depuración en PGR.” El Universal. August 2, 2011.

Wilkinson, Tracy. “Top prosecutors in Mexico resign en masse.” Los Angeles Times. August 2, 2011.

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