Mexico Programs

Criminal Law Reform and Anti-Human Trafficking

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) released its Mexico Human Trafficking Assessment Tool (HTAT) report in August 2009. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of Mexico’s federal and state human trafficking laws, along with a detailed analysis of steps taken to implement those laws.

In the report, Mexico’s efforts to prevent and combat human trafficking are analyzed for compliance with the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. The assessment found the national legal frameworks highly compliant with this protocol while it also uncovered serious implementation deficiencies.

To encourage discussion around the report and its findings, the report was formally presented during a rollout event in Mexico City that included a panel of key government and civil society actors.

The HTAT and its results were widely discussed in the Mexican media after its release. More importantly, this coverage generated discussion about the efficacy of the government’s response to this horrific crime, which is estimated to victimize between 20,000 and 50,000 people per year in Mexico.

Judicial Reform

The ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is supporting the implementation of a critical set of reforms that relate to the Mexican criminal justice system’s transition from an inquisitorial to an accusatorial system. Through judicial exchanges, ABA ROLI helps strengthen the Mexican judiciary’s capacity to adapt to and claim ownership of the ongoing reforms, as they aid in broadening the judiciary’s understanding through first-hand exposure to case management under the accusatorial system.

Both through “sister courthouse” exchanges between judges along the U.S.-Mexican border and through study tours for high-level Mexican judges, ABA ROLI has opened a direct channel of communication for judges in both countries. The initiatives allow the two sides to interact on a more personal level, to dispel long-standing misconceptions and to engage in an open dialogue on best practices in judicial administration.