The penal reform that institutes oral trials in Mexico is almost two years from its passage, and according to President Felipe Calderón it will be useless if there continues to be corruption in the ministerial, police, and judicial agencies and justice belongs to the highest bidder.I couldn't agree more, and actually I wrote as much at the time of its passage:
It doesn’t really matter how perfect the legal framework is (it could be designed by a dream team of civil libertarians, security experts, and democratic theorists dead and alive); if the people implementing it are corrupt any reform will be dead on arrival.Apologies for engaging in that somewhat annoying habit of singing, Mr. President agrees with me! But he does. Which, given Calderón's recent propensity for wrongness, doesn't necessarily mean points in my favor, although in this case I think it does, and in any event that's a story for another post.
The police are in a unique position to undermine any government initiative that has to do with law and order, from the Mérida Initiative to the judicial reform bill. Any security-related reform effort must start with measures to clean up the police: internal affairs departments, frequent and random drug and polygraph testing for cops, hotlines for citizens exploited by the police, and mandatory discipline for cops who are caught misbehaving.
Calderón also hammered state governments for not doing their part, pointing out that only seven states have begun to implement the reform. I'm not sure why that is, but assuming it's true, that is indeed pretty pathetic.