Mérida, Yucatan, July 28, 2017 – Today, the Yucatan State Attorney General formally recognized a group of 60 forensic scientists and police officers who completed a training course in Crime Scene Investigation (CSI), a collaborative effort by the governments of the United States of America and Mexico under the Mérida Initiative. Yucatán is the first state in Mexico to offer this training simultaneously to a combined force of police investigators and forensics experts. This will result in greater coordination of efforts between the State Public Safety Secretariat and the State Attorney General’s office when processing crime scenes and investigating cases.
The 2-week CSI course prepares officers to meet their responsibilities as first responders. This includes isolating the crime scene to maintain its integrity, identifying potential witnesses, and collecting or securing evidence that may be critical in preparing a criminal case. Officers also received instruction on the Mexican legal and human rights framework as it relates to CSI. The creation of a combined unit dedicated to CSI in Yucatan will enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of crime response by augmenting the collection of evidence and providing greater opportunities for forensic analysis in full support of the justice system in the state.
The training is part of a larger collaborative effort under the Merida Initiative to strengthen law enforcement and the justice system in Mexico. In Yucatan, this includes providing capacity building and equipment donations to the State Public Safety Secretariat, technical assistance and equipment donations to the State Attorney General’s office, and support for the state penitentiary system. The CSI training is part of a long-term program of support which will culminate in the international accreditation of Yucatan’s forensic services in seven basic disciplines.
Government Secretary Roberto Antonio Rodríguez Asaf presided over the ceremony, which was held at the Yucatan Attorney General’s offices.