Mexico has almost tripled the number of individuals it sends to stand trial in the U.S. since President Felipe Calderon took power, reports El Universal.
According to an analysis of government extradition figures by the newspaper, 464 suspected criminals were extradited to the U.S. between 2006 and August 5, 2011. This represents an increase of 190 percent from the previous administration, when 160 were extradited.
Of those extradited under Calderon, 40 percent faced conspiracy and drug-related charges, 33 percent were charged with homicide and 15 percent were charged with sex crimes.
Some judicial analysts are concerned that this massive increase in extradition is detrimental to the Mexican justice system, as it demonstrates a lack of faith in the country’s courts on the part of the authorities. Avoiding sending major drug cases to Mexican courts on the basis of their potential for corruption, the argument goes, will only perpetuate a cycle of impunity.
On the other hand, the flawed reality of the Mexican judicial system ensures that some powerful drug cartel leaders cannot receive impartial trials. In recent years several high-profile criminal suspects, such as Sandra Avila Beltran, have been thought to have influenced the outcome of their cases, usually by paying off or the judge or intimidating witnesses. Extraditing criminals to the U.S. can ensure that in such cases, these individuals are still brought to justice.