Crime and Violence

War against organized crime affects new criminal justice system in Mexico

According to an online news article by El Universal, the criminal justice system in Chihuahua has been structurally attacked by narco-violence with more than one hundred of its strategic operators killed by criminal organizations impeding any accomplishment of its objective –abating state impunity—thus becoming a victim in the war against narco-traffickers.  Hitmen from various crime organizations have killed ninety-eight elements from the State Attorney General’s Office (Procuraduría General de Justicia – PGJ) between 2008 and 2009. Among those killed have been investigative police, prosecutors, specialized experts, and twenty-one lawyers, all of whom received  training of the new judicial reforms in Chihuahua.

Chihuahua, the first state in Mexico to apply the new system, has had the reforms in place for the past three years and was considered to be the transitional laboratory. In December of 2008 the reconfiguration of the judicial system from the traditional inquisitorial system of Mexico to an accusatorial system, which consists of introducing cases through oral trails in which a judge will conduct hearings and witness the presentation of arguments and evidence of the parties involved, was approved at a national level. According to Patricia Martínez Ramírez, the State Attorney General of Justice (procuradora General de Justicia), the war on drugs is collapsing the reforms do to overwhelming crime.

In an interview she explained that it has been necessary to focus on homicide crimes that have a line of investigation in which a hypothesis exists, placing the others in an archive temporarily.  The new system has few resources in order to investigate all the crimes that have been taking place. Since 2007 one-hundred thirteen modifications have been made to the Penal Procedure Code of Chihuahua (Código de Procedimientos Penales de Chihuahua).


Hernández, Evangelina. “Narcoguerra rebasa a la reforma judicial.” El Universal. 19 Julio, 2010.

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