Criminal Justice, Due Process and the Rule of Law in Mexico

Paola I. de la Rosa Rodríguez

Abstract

The criminal justice process should not involve obtaining the truth at any price. This article discusses how Mexico has adopted exceptional regulations which violate due process considerations and create a problematic breach of the rule of law. We argue that, at a time when Mexican society suffers the consequences of organized crime, the Constitution provides for two types of regulations: one protecting human rights, which are the foundation of the rule of law; and another which infringes on the individual rights of those suspected of having participated in organized criminal activity. We examine mechanisms such as preventive detention and preventive imprisonment and analyze their treatment under Mexican law as well as in international agreements. We explore whether or not the fight against criminality and the prosecution of criminals “by any means necessary” is more important that the protection of the human rights of those suspected of illegal activity. We conclude by suggesting that the response to criminality should not require limitations on the constitutional freedoms of citizens.

Keywords

Organized crime; prosecution of crime; human rights; preventive detentions; rule of law

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