The Senate has decided to postpone its debate over public security proposals recently sent by Pres. Calderón until after the June elections. The proposals seek to reform the penal code to increase sentences for military personnel involved in organized crime, and for those carrying out attacks on public servants and candidates for public office, as well as to increase punishments for possession of unauthorized firearms. Senators have expressed concern that discussion on the important measures could be “contaminated” by the electoral process.
Specifically, Calderón’s military justice initiative proposes a sentence of up to 60 years in prison for members of the Mexican armed forcers found in collusion with organized crime. His initiative to protect public servants seeks to punish with between 10 and 20 years in prison those who kidnap public servants or candidates for public office. He also has requested modifications to the National Security Law that would clearly define the circumstances and procedures under which the military participates in matters of public security. The National Security Law initiative coincides with a Human Rights Watch report charging the failings of the military justice system in over 70 cases of alleged abuse by soldiers over the past two years. The HRW report is discussed in the Access to Justice section below.
Ramos, Jorge. “Senado posterga analizar iniciativas de Calderón.” El Universal May 9, 2009.
Calderón, Felipe. “El Presidente Calderón en la visita a las Tropas que participan en la Operación Conjunta Chihuahua.” Presidencia de la República Press Release. May 14, 2009.