US provides $68 million for Mexico justice reform

AP News
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Posted: Nov 21, 2014 8:28 PM

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The U.S. Embassy in Mexico says the U.S. government will provide $68 million over five years to assist Mexico's effort to reform its court and justice system.

The U.S. government's Agency for International Development will oversee the plan, known as Promoting Justice.

Mexico's slow, cumbersome paper-based trial system is being changed to something that more closely resembles the U.S. court system, though without juries. Lawyers will question and cross-examine witnesses in open court, and defendants will be considered innocent until proven guilty.

Some of Mexico's 31 states have implemented parts of the reform, including changes aimed at speeding up trials and allowing leeway for non-prison sentences.

The embassy said Friday the U.S. money will go to help train judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys.