Justice for All?

juarezpolice

So we hear repeated news of Mexican police catching one wanted drug kingpin after the other, then we seem to hear nothing after all the media frenzy eventually dies.

I wondered why until I saw a few articles mention in passing the very reason. The Washington Post says in an article about how the Mexican government has captured 60,000 suspects since 2006:

“Drug trafficking in Mexico employs an estimated 150,000 people, according to U.S. officials, so 60,000 arrests could represent progress in the fight against the cartels.

But the Mexican attorney general’s office said it was unable to disclose how many of the detainees remain in custody or whether they had been charged with crimes related to drug trafficking. In Mexico, it is not unusual for suspects to be arrested, paraded before television cameras but later quietly released without being charged with a crime.”

Hmm, so are the suspects in custody or not? Is it all just a show?

The New York Times says: “The authorities often spotlight arrests, hauling the suspects before the cameras, and then quietly release them after the 80 days of investigation that Mexico’s system allows.”

The articles goes on to say that, for all types of crimes, only 24 out of every 1,000 cases reported to police result in suspects being sentenced.

What is going on, and why exactly is the government not being straight with its citizens?

Maybe because this drug offensive thing is trickier than previously thought. With a clearly flawed criminal justice system and a crafty foe in the form of cartels whose leaders are usually untraceable to actual drug work, Mexico is going to need an overhaul of its prosecution tactics.

Around the time of President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s visits to Mexico, one writer remarked in an article that Mexico always seems to “catch” most-wanted drug lords when American officials are coming to visit. I don’t think that the police actually don’t KNOW where these cartel leaders are hiding, most are partying outside for everyone to see.

I think it’s become obvious now the problem is that they just still don’t know how to make the charges on them stick. Because if even if they do, who’s to say they won’t break out of prison, usually with the help of the prison’s own guards?

Photo via TIME

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Justice for All?

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