Mexico has made significant efforts to modernize its justice and security system, and to strengthen the rule of law. The new accusatory system of justice, whereby the penal process is based on the presumption of innocence, has entered into force, and public policy measures have been taken for improved police professionalism. Despite these efforts, the public has little trust in the police force, and there is a widespread perception of impunity. As the 32 Mexican states roll out the implementation of the new accusatory system of justice, the work carried out by the police will be a key determinant of its success. The extent to which the police’s actions are deemed legitimate has wide-ranging implications for the rule of law and for building a culture of legality. Since police officers serve as citizens’ first point of contact with the justice system, enhancing police professionalism will have a direct impact on the success of the oral trials, and consequently, human rights and security.
IDLO is implementing a project to support the rule of law in Mexico by strengthening the capacity of the security sector to consolidate the new accusatory system of justice. The project will focus on capacity development in three areas: training for preventive police at the municipal level to improve their competence and professionalism, enhancing the knowledge and skills of first responders to improve their performance in the criminal process, and addressing the capacity of procedural police to consolidate the units at the state level to ensure adequate implementation of the criminal justice system. Since the ability to measure progress and ensure relevance relies on sound data, IDLO will also design the baseline and the tools needed to collect training data for monitoring and evaluation. To ensure effective coordination and communication with the relevant Mexican authorities, IDLO will establish technical working groups with representatives from federal, state and municipal public security secretariats, and will conduct roundtables to discuss lessons learned throughout implementation and ensure regular follow-up.