• Connect with us on Linkedin

Under Calderon, 80% of Federal Organized Crime Detainees Went Free

Most of those captured in federal operations later go free Most of those captured in federal operations later go free

Of more than 600,000 people detained in operations against organized criminal groups during former Mexican president Felipe Calderon's six years in power, some 80 percent went free, according to official figures.

Linkedin
Google +

From Calderon's inauguration in December 2006 to the end of October 2012, 623,213 people were detained by Mexico's federal forces as part of their fight against organized crime, the Attorney General's Office (PGR) told Excelsior.

The majority of those arrested, 498,570, were freed, either because of a lack of evidence or because they were let out on bail.

The Attorney General's Office only managed to establish that 5,608 of the suspects were part of organized criminal groups.

InSight Crime Analysis

As Excelsior points out, the figures are inconsistent with those provided by other government institutions such as the Defense Department (Sedena), which reported that over 50,000 people linked to criminal groups had been captured in that period.

The statistic of 80 percent freed is an illustration of the high impunity rates in Mexico, but can also indicate an overeagerness by law enforcement official to capture suspects without enough solid evidence. In September, a report from the Attorney General's Office said that of some 3,439 people arrested on drug trafficking charges between 2006 and 2011, only 31 percent were convicted.

The figures also highlight the fact that even when the military and federal police are sent to combat drug trafficking organizations, as they were under Calderon's presidency, their power to carry out operations and detain suspects means little in the absence of an effective justice system to make sure that those captured go to trial. As InSight Crime has pointed out, a cycle of arresting and then releasing members of gangs could even be worse than not arresting them in the first place, as these individuals are held together for short periods of time in poor facilities, creating "universities of crime" where they form connections with one another.

New President Enrique Peña Nieto, who took office on December first, has promised to push ahead with reforms to the judicial system begun under Calderon.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los 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.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

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.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

El Salvador Gangs Teach Honduras Counterparts Secret Codes

El Salvador Gangs Teach Honduras Counterparts Secret Codes

Imprisoned gang leaders in Honduras are receiving instructions from their counterparts in El Salvador on how to transmit coded messages, reported El Heraldo, highlighting the collaboration between gangs in the two countries.

Read more

Internal Displacement in Brazil: An Inconvenient Truth?

Internal Displacement in Brazil: An Inconvenient Truth?

As Brazil works to project the image of a nation that is effectively addressing security challenges in its major cities, one important indicator -- internal displacement -- is being overlooked. 

Read more

El Salvador Investigates both Sets of Gang Truce Negotiators

El Salvador Investigates both Sets of Gang Truce Negotiators

El Salvador's attorney general has confirmed that his office is investigating the actions of both sets of negotiators in the country's gang truce, suggesting there will be no more semi-official attempts at mediation with gangs...

Read more

Latest Criminal Profile