USAID - $5 Million for Justice Reforms in Mexico
USAID Provides $5 Million for Justice Reforms in Mexico
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will provide $5 million over the next four years to support justice reforms in Chihuahua, Mexico. The money will be used for legal education, technical assistance and professional exchanges for state prosecutors, judges and defense attorneys.
Tony Garza, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, announced the initiative on February 3 and emphasized that the program would advance justice reform and assist crime victims. He added that part of the U.S. assistance being provided would facilitate legal assistance and provide mental health services to help with the anguish and trauma suffered by families of the hundreds of women killed over the last decade in the state of Chihuahua.
The funding will be provided by the U.S. government through USAID to support justice reform being carried out by Mexican states. The Ambassador said Chihuahua citizens "will decide the specific path and timing of any reform, but I want them to know that many people in the United States stand in solidarity with this cause."
Since 1993, approximately 340 women have been slain in the Juarez area. The Mexican Federal Prosecutor named a special prosecutor to review these crimes. More than 200 cases have been reviewed by federal lawyers. Ambassador Garza made special mention of Chihuahua Governor Reyes-Baeza's strong public commitment to improve the administration of justice in his state. He noted that many people on both sides of the border are deeply concerned about the unsolved murders of women in Ciudad Juarez, and this has raised interest in justice reform more broadly.
According to Ambassador Garza, the new initiative will help ensure "the safety and well-being of both Mexican and American citizens." Part of the USAID assistance will help provide legal assistance and mental health services to victims' families.