Minister Ablonczy Announces Support for Criminal Justice Reform in Mexico

November 30, 2012 - The Honourable Diane Ablonczy, Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), was at Anáhuac University in Querétaro, Mexico, today to announce Canada’s support for a project that will help Mexican law schools train their students for ongoing reforms to Mexico’s criminal justice system. Minister Ablonczy was joined for the announcement by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

“I am pleased to announce that Canada is supporting Mexican law schools to prepare a new generation of lawyers for the country’s new criminal justice system,” said Minister Ablonczy. “This is yet another notable step along the path of collaboration between Mexico and Canada in the area of justice, and serves to strengthen our countries’ relationship and deepen Canada’s engagement in the Americas.”

In 2008, Mexico initiated a constitutionally mandated, comprehensive reform of its criminal justice system, due to be completed by 2016. The project announced today will enhance the integration of these reforms into the academic programs of Mexican law schools to ensure that graduates are ready to practise within the new criminal justice system. The project will reach more than 18,700 law students in 113 law schools in the Mexican states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatán.

The Canadian project will be delivered by Centro de Estudios sobre la Enseñanza y el Aprendizaje del Derecho [centre for the study of teaching and learning of law] (CEEAD).

Canadian support comes from the Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP), launched by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in August 2009 during the North American Leaders’ Summit in Guadalajara, Mexico. The ACCBP supports efforts by countries in the Americas to prevent and respond to threats from transnational organized criminal networks. This program is part of Canada’s strategy of engagement in the Americas, which includes strengthening security and institutions that safeguard freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The ACCBP is Canada’s principal vehicle for supporting justice and security sector reforms in Mexico, where it has supported the training of more than 600 justice sector representatives, including judges, prosecutors, lawyers and public defenders.

Minister Ablonczy is in Mexico as part of the Governor General’s visit to the region, a trip undertaken at the request of Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The visit of the Canadian delegation to Mexico, Peru and Guatemala serves to promote Canada’s ongoing engagement in the Americas—a foreign policy priority since 2007—and its three goals of increasing economic opportunity, strengthening security and institutions and fostering lasting relationships.

For more information on the visit, please see Governor General to Undertake Visits to Mexico, Peru and Guatemala.  

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Joshua Zanin
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
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