Mexico Overhauls Justice System

Calderon signs sweeping reforms
By Peter Fearon,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2008 2:30 AM CDT
Mexican soldiers display seized heroin during an anti-drug operation. Sweeping reforms of Mexico's justice system will make it easier to combat drug cartels.   (AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini)
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(Newser) – Sweeping reforms of Mexico's criminal justice system were signed into law by President Felipe Calderon yesterday. US-style public trials and presumption of innocence will replace Mexico's slow, closed-door system that proceeds almost exclusively through briefs, reports the Washington Post. The reforms also give investigators power to hold suspects 80 days without charges.     

The reforms are so far reaching and involve such radical retraining of the Mexican judiciary that they won't all be implemented until 2016. "What is at stake is not the liberty, security or integrity of the government, but above all the security and integrity of the governed," said a statement by Calderon.