• Connect with us on Linkedin

Mexico Justice System Discriminates Against Poor, Young, Males: Report

A scene from a Mexican prison A scene from a Mexican prison

Those who fit the profile of a typical criminal in Mexico -- poor male youths with little schooling -- are more likely to be rushed through Mexico's justice system without a fair trial, according to the findings of a new report.

Linkedin
Google +

The five-part report, released by the national anti-discrimination council Conapred in collaboration with social science research center CIDE, looks at discrimination in several areas of public life in Mexico, from the workplace to health and nutrition.

In its section on the justice system, the report states that because the police and the Public Ministry have quotas to meet in terms of number of arrests made and the number of cases resolved, authorities are under pressure to act without following due process.

As a result, the criminal justice system heavily favors Mexico's wealthier populations, and those without the funds to hire a private lawyer are significantly disadvantaged, Conapred finds. Seven out of 10 of those sentenced report never having met with a public defender. Unsurprisingly, the majority of Mexico's prison population is made up of males between the ages of 18 to 34 with no more than a primary school education.

Overall, Mexico's justice system "detains, processes, and punishes those who have less: less income, less education, and fewer social contacts," the report concludes. 

The president of Conapred said that the organization had prepared a briefing for Congress on ways to strengthen Mexico's legal system and make it less vulnerable to discriminatory practices.

InSight Crime Analysis

Conapred's report highlights a well-documented problem in Mexico: the majority of the population cannot expect to be treated in accord with due process in the justice system. A report released earlier this year by CIDE found that, among inmates jailed for drug crimes, 92 percent said they never saw an arrest warrant, while another 51 percent said they received no advice from their lawyers.

Part of the problem is the burdensome caseload faced by many public defenders, although Mexico has made some effort to tackle this. A three-year, million project under the Merida Initiative is aimed at increasing the amount of training that public defenders receive. 

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

Most Read

El Salvador Tax Probe Tightens Noose Around Texis Cartel Leader

El Salvador Tax Probe Tightens Noose Around Texis Cartel Leader

As part of a tax evasion investigation, El Salvador prosecutors have seized documents and searched properties belonging to Texis Cartel leader "El Chepe Diablo" and two key business partners, in a sign that the elusive...

Read more

The Narco of Narcos: Fugitive Mexican Drug Lord Rafael Caro Quintero

The Narco of Narcos: Fugitive Mexican Drug Lord Rafael Caro Quintero

The release of Rafael Caro Quintero from a Mexican prison in August 2013 was a blow to US-Mexico relations, the reputation of the Mexican justice system, and the drug war.

Read more

Mexico Cartel Had Stake in 7 Tn Colombia Cocaine Load

Mexico Cartel Had Stake in 7 Tn Colombia Cocaine Load

More details have emerged on the transport and seizure of a record seven tons of cocaine at the Colombian port of Cartagena, revealing that the shipment, bound for Europe, also involved Mexican cartels.

Read more