Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fix the PGR First

Leo Zuckermann captures my instinctive reaction to the news that Calderón announced the creation of a federal agency specializing on attention to victims:
...I think that the priority must be to strengthen, for once and for all, the Justice Department (PGR). Because the results from this institution are lamentable. At least in cases of politicians allegedly linked to organized crime. Whereever you look, the PGR has an awful record. Of the 12 mayors from Michoacán who were arrested just ahead of the mid-term election in 2009, all of them are free today. All of them. The 12 exonerated because the PGR, according the judges, did not manage to prove collusion with criminals.

[Break, in which he talks about Greg Sánchez and Jorge Hank Rhon]

These are the most conspicuous cases. Who knows how many there with people with a lower profile. I'm afraid there are many. And what is the point of arresting alleged criminals if the judges release them because of the poor actions of the PGR's prosecutors? There is none. Above all for the victims and their family members that don't feel justice has been done because the authorities are incapable of winning prison sentences for the criminals responsible for the existence of said victims.

If the goal is to help the victims, the priority should be to strengthen the PGR. To have ministerios públicos capable of keeping criminals behind bars. True, the president announced earlier this year that he was going to "deepen the clean-up and strengthening of the PGR. We will do so with an intense program that seeks to increase the capability of the personnel in the Policía Ministerial, and, of course, the federal Ministerios Públicos." Let's hope. Even though there is just one year left of this government.
In other words, good news, but a bit of a sideshow.

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