A judge in Mexico

According to Mexico's national statistics institute, just 1.8 percent of the homicides registered in 2012 have resulted in a sentence, a grim reminder of the challenges that Mexico faces in speeding up its judicial process.

As Animal Politico reports, sentences have been issued in just 523 of the 27,500 homicides registered in Mexico last year, according to statistic agency INEGI.

The numbers show that in two states, Hidalgo and Tlaxcala, no homicide cases from last year resulted in sentences.  

Things aren't much better in some of Mexico's most crime-racked regions, including San Luis Potosi (where 99.6 percent of homicide cases have not been resolved), Sinaloa (99.2 percent), Chihuahua (98.3 percent), Tamaulipas (97.5 percent), and Michoacan (96.8 percent).

The state with the highest rate of sentencing is the Federal District, although 81.4 percent of cases here remain unsolved. 

As noted by Animal Politico, local governments have misleadingly registered some murder cases as "processed" -- meaning that a suspect was presented before a judge -- even though they ultimately did not result in a sentence. In Hidalgo, for example, 106 people were reported as having been "processed," although none of the cases saw convictions. 

InSight Crime Analysis

The challenges facing Mexico's judiciary are well noted. It is not just a matter of stalled homicide cases -- last year, the Attorney General's Office reported that only 30 percent of those detained on drug trafficking charges between 2007 and 2011 were convicted.  The United Nations has said that 90 percent of those arrested during the first five years of President Felipe Calderon's administration eventually went free. 

 Improving the efficiency of the judiciary remains one of the major challenges facing President Enrique Peña Nieto, as it was under Calderon, who oversaw a series of dramatic reforms in 2008. One issue is the number of public servants who still need to trained in Mexico's new accusatorial trial system. The US is helping with this, but the process is moving slowly. 

Investigations

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Prev Next

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

Justice and the Creation of a Mafia State in Guatemala

As Guatemala's Congress gears up to select new Supreme Court Justices and appellate court judges, InSight Crime is investigating how organized crime influences the selection process. This story details the interests of one particular political bloc vying for control over the courts and what's at stake: millions of ...

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The Victory of the Urabeños - The New Face of Colombian Organized Crime

The mad scramble for criminal power in the aftermath of the demobilization of the United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC) is over. The Urabeños, or as they prefer to call themselves, the "Autodefensas Gaitanistas de Colombia," have won.

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

50 years of the FARC: War, Drugs and Revolution

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

 Mexico’s Security Dilemma: Michoacan’s Militias

Well-armed vigilantes in Mexico's Michoacan state have helped authorities dismantle a powerful criminal organization, but now the government may have a more difficult task: keeping Michoacan safe from the vigilantes and rival criminal groups.

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

After the lower house passed the controversial marijuana bill July 31, Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug, and provide a model for countries looking for alternatives to the world’s dominant drug policy paradigm. ...

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

El Salvador's Gang Truce: Positives And Negatives

Whether it is sustainable or not, the truce -- which the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) and the Barrio 18 put into place March 2012 -- has changed the conventional thinking about who the gangs are and what is the best way to handle the most difficult law and order ...

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is in sight. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, for themselves and especially for their children, the enemies of the peace negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the ...

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Corruption in El Salvador: Politicians, Police and Transportistas

Since the end of El Salvador's civil war, the country's police has become a key player in the underworld. This series of five articles explore the dark ties between criminal organizations and the government's foremost crime fighting institution.

Juarez after the War

Juarez after the War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality. InSight Crime looks at the role politicians, police, and for-hire street gangs played in the fighting -- asking who ...