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Posted: September 4th, 2023

Paper 1: Mexico

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Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Module 6 Module 7
Focus Paper 1: Mexico
Focus Paper 2: Saudi Arabia
Focus Paper 3: Japan Exam 1 Exam 2
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Sammy Kim confessed to (and truly committed) purse snatching; but due to the exclusion of particular evidence at trial, th…
Due Date Points Possible Sunday, October 18, 2020 20 11:59 PM View Rubric
Focus Paper

The purpose of the Country in Focus paper is to introduce you to the criminal justice system in different countries. This module we are focusing on Mexico. You are not expected to be an expert in Mexico’s criminal justice system, but you are expected to be able to speak (or write) intelligently about the system of justice currently in place in Mexico.
After reviewing the times in the “Country in Focus” folder from Module 1, complete a paper according to the following guidelines: 1. 2-3 pages (does not include cover page and reference page), 12-point font, double space 2. APA format 3. Introduction, body, conclusion 4. Explain the changes in Mexico’s criminal justice system (as explained in the video and the articles, “Modernization of Mexico’s Criminal Justice System”). 5. You are also encouraged to conduct your own independent research. Minimum of two scholarly references required. 6. Do you think these changes will help end the existing corruption?
Please refer to the Syllabus for the Grading Rubric that will be used to assess this paper.
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The adoption of Mexico’s New Criminal Justice System is a mission accomplished according to the Mexican government. The criminal justice system is a large and complex apparatus involving many institutions, including the police, the prosecutor’s office, and the judiciary. The main aim of the reforms was to achieve new legal protections for those accused of crimes. Additionally, the reforms have dealt with the problem of corruption in the courtroom.
The old criminal justice system utilized the inquisitorial system involving written trials that lacked accountability structures and invited corruption through judicial and prosecutorial discretion. The New Criminal Justice system employs a new system that involves oral and adversarial trial which invite direct debate engagements in front of a judge in a public courtroom. Reforms sought to increase the efficiency of the criminal procedure. In changing the criminal procedure, the reforms sought to change how the arraignment process worked. The reforms also allow the judges the jurisdiction to dismiss any erroneous cases earlier as well as to consider alternatives to prisons in charging misdemeanor crimes.
In contrast to the old criminal justice system, the New Mexican Criminal Justice system has increased the presence of judges, litigants, and the public in the majority of the hearings. The judges are playing more active roles in the overseeing of court hearings as well as being clear when explaining their reasoning to the defendants. There is more public access to the court facilities, which increases the democratization of the criminal justice process. There is the free observance of the proceedings without deterrence and interference by the accused and other concerned parties’ family members. The new system requires judges to handle and admit the physical evidence instead of the summary reports. The court process does not accept disorganized paperwork; the paperwork is the litigating party’s responsibility to organize the submission in a presentable manner.
The electronic recording has replaced written transcripts in the new criminal justice system, which are considered ad hoc. Hearings are recorded on a video or audio record, which gives the advantage of creating an objective record of events. The new justice system has allowed extensive use of pleading, which leads to fewer cases proceeding to court trials. Negotiations with the prosecutors are more allowed when the people are accused of committing a crime, especially in non-violent cases. The extensive use of pleading allows the prosecutors to quickly solve a majority of the case before reaching trial with the effect of clearing the court schedule for more critical cases.
The police’s role in the new criminal justice system has changed as the investigative officer has increased autonomy. The officers have the responsibility to be the first responder at the crime scenes and collaborate efforts with the forensic teams to collect, transport, and secure the evidence.
The reforms that have led to the new criminal justice system are not sufficient to assist in ending the existing corruption in Mexico. Government corruption is a big problem in the effectiveness of the criminal justice system. There is a low level of public trust in the police as law enforcement, which government officials manipulate. Law enforcement officers are still able to escape prosecution for crimes such as torture of suspects and rape. The partial treatment of the law enforcement officer dissuades citizens from exposing criminals due to fear of retaliation.

Ingram, M. C. (2016). Mandates, geography, and networks: Diffusion of criminal procedure reform in Mexico. Latin American Politics and Society, 58(1), 121-145.
Novoa, M., & Mora, K. S. (2020). How Does Criminal Justice Work in Mexico?. In Rebuilding the State Institutions (pp. 193-206).
Mexico’s economy heavily relies on its oil exports, and the country is one of the largest producers of oil in the world. However, the nationalized oil company, Pemex, has been facing numerous challenges, including declining oil reserves, outdated infrastructure, and corruption within the company. The Mexican government has been working on reforms to modernize Pemex and attract foreign investment, but the process has been slow and met with opposition.

Mexico has a rich cultural heritage, including ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and the Mayans, as well as vibrant modern art and music scenes. The country is known for its colorful and lively festivals, such as Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), which celebrates and honors deceased loved ones. Mexico also has a diverse culinary scene, with dishes such as tacos, mole, and tamales gaining popularity worldwide.
Ramos, M. (2021). Criminal Procedure Reforms in Mexico: Advances and Challenges. In Criminal Justice Reforms in Mexico (pp. 3-20). Springer.

Zepeda, H., & García, J. (2022). The impact of the criminal justice reform in Mexico on impunity rates: Evidence from administrative records. Journal of Development Economics, 153, 102735.

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