Justice in Mexico publishes two new working papers

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3/17/16 (written by msmith) –  Two new working papers are now available from Justice in Mexico.  From examining the fundamental features of Mexico’s criminal justice system to analyzing whether there has been a real drop in homicides in Mexico recently, each author informs the reader of some of the most pressing issues and challenges facing Mexico today.

Jane Kingman-Brundage’s working paper, “Mexico’s Traditional Criminal Justice System: A Layperson’s Guide,” introduces the legal logic underpinning Mexico’s traditional ‘mixed inquisitorial’ Criminal Justice System in the tradition of Civil Law. The discussion begins by comparing salient characteristics of the Civil Law and Common Law traditions. Three fundamental features alien to Common Law are identified: authoritarian nature, reliance on a deductive process anchored in both a Penal Code and a Code of Criminal Procedure, and a formal documentary focus. Mexico’s traditional Criminal Justice System is then examined against this broad framework. A description of the Criminal Justice System’s structural components—including roles, responsibilities of various court officials—sets the stage for examining how the Criminal Justice System actually works—its four major procedural phases and the steps within those phases. The publication is available in English here.

The goal of Rafael Mora’s working paper, “A Subnational Analysis of Homicides and Disappearances in Mexico,” is to determine whether the recent drop of homicides in Mexico is real or not. This is determined by comparing data of homicides and disappearances in Mexico from 2007 to 2014 on a national, state, and municipal level. The paper presents analyses of homicides and disappearances in Mexico as a whole, Juarez, Tijuana, as well as a case study of homicides and disappearances in Estado de Mexico and Tamaulipas. The analyses of this paper were conducted utilizing primary sources of homicide and disappearance data. This report concludes that homicides have decreased on a national scale. However, the national trends of homicides and disappearances in Mexico are not representative of sub national trends. The publication is available in English here.