Mexico City, December 22, 2016 – On December 20, 2016, President Enrique Peña Nieto approved an amendment to the Professionalization Program (Programa Rector de Profesionalización) of the National Public Safety Secretariat (SESNSP by its Spanish acronym). Under the amendment, criminal information analysts will be recognized by the courts as expert witnesses and will assist in criminal investigations. The move is a significant step in the consolidation of Mexico’s new accusatory justice system, as it will allow these analysts to testify and present evidence during criminal trials. This type of evidence-based testimony by certified specialists will further strengthen the credibility of the new system.
The amendment also validated the adoption of a standard training program and curriculum for information analysts that were jointly developed by 14 Mexican government law enforcement agencies. Under the Merida Initiative, the U.S. Embassy is supporting the training.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, Roberta Jacobson, expressed her support for the measure, saying, “It is encouraging to see this measure passed into law and I look forward to further collaboration under the Merida Initiative on the training program for criminal information analysts.”
Since June 2016, 1,000 individuals have completed stage one of the training program, which provides them with the basic knowledge and skills to conduct criminal information analyses. Following completion of the basic module, selected individuals will continue to study the intermediate and advanced modules that will prepare them to be certified as criminal information analysts at a national level.
The Mérida Initiative is a bilateral security cooperation agreement between Mexico and the United States. Through eight years of implementation, the Merida Initiative has led to greater cooperation between the United States and Mexico. It has provided tangible support to Mexico’s law enforcement and judicial institutions, helped to counteract the illegal trade in narcotics, and strengthened border security. To date, the Mérida Initiative has delivered USD $1.5 billion in equipment, training, and capacity building assistance to the government of Mexico.