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Citizens have no effective protection

The changes to the legislation arising from the new criminal justice system have allowed some criminals to find legal loopholes to avoid service a sentence
Citizens have no effective protection
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Together with the economic situation and corruption, insecurity in public areas is one of the priorities of Mexican people. Citizens want to live without worrying too much about criminals stealing their possessions, or being intercepted by them as they commute. Overall, Mexican people want to be reassured that they will be safe as they go on about their daily activities.

Like EL UNIVERSAL publishes today, despite hundreds of criminals have been arrested in Mexico City for crimes such as drug dealing, robbery on public transportation, home burglary, or a vehicle-related theft, the changes to the legislation arising from the new criminal justice system have allowed some criminals to find legal loopholes to avoid service a sentence. In 2017, only 15% of those found guilty of crimes against health was serving time in prison.

The investigation shows that recidivism is high. Most criminals who have committed one of the offenses mentioned above are evidence that the current legislation exempts them from paying for their crimes and, moreover, that shortly afterward they will repeat the offense. Given the lack of consequences, there is no motivation for criminals to change their behavior.

Pursuant to the current legislation, those charged with small-scale drug dealing aren't required to be imprisoned, according to section 19 of the Constitution and section 167 of the National Code for Criminal Proceedings. Thus, sending these criminals to jail is optional, which enables them to continue with their illegal lifestyle.

Pursuant to the loopholes criminals have found to not face the consequences of their actions, and considering the high impunity rate in the country, it's necessary to implement alternatives to neutralize criminal behaviors.

The implementation of the new criminal justice system is still a work in progress, therefore, it's pertinent to ask which are the priorities of the governments for their security policies. That is, they arrest and process minor offenders, who live in impunity, but they stop investigating the murderers, those who are behind small-scale drug dealers or those who organize gangs of thieves.

It's vital that justice bodies enforce the laws passed by the Parliament, yet, little can be done if, from its origin and design, said laws fail to protect Mexican citizens. One of the goals of the justice system was, precisely, to remove pressure from the country's jails so only those who had committed serious offenses could be held there. The contradiction needs to be corrected so citizens can have an effective protection.


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