Justice Institutions

Judicial Reform
Open Data
Transparency and Accountability

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Mexico Evalua

Hallazgos: Analysis and civic engagement as a catalyst for improving justice 


The Problem
Since the criminal justice reform process in Mexico in 2008, institutions have undergone significant improvements. However, 16 years later, there are still areas that require strengthening. For example, Mexico has one of the highest impunity rates in Latin America: only 10% of crimes are reported, and of these, there is an average impunity rate of 96% nationwide. There is also a lack of transparency in the criminal justice system, which fails to provide a timely and effective response to individual needs. Even when citizens have access to information, the data is not always clear or useful, which can hinder the ability of civil society, the private sector, and academia to interact with the justice system and other public officials. These issues perpetuate inequality in access to justice, gender discrimination, and human rights violations.  

The Approach
Since 2013, México Evalúa has monitored the Mexican justice system’s performance and presented evidenced-based data through its annual publication of Hallazgos (Findings). Through comprehensive analysis, they uncover shortcomings and areas of improvement in the Mexican justice system each year. Over time, they have refined their methodology and developed new assessment tools, including the Index of Trust in Justice Institutions, the Index of Impunity, and state-level scorecards. This national project collaborates closely with nine Mexican states, with an agenda focused on state, regional, and municipal issues beyond just the capital cities. It also collaborates directly with those agencies responsible for protecting and guaranteeing individual rights, such as Commissions for the Attention of Victims, the Public Defender's Offices, and Women's Justice Centers. The project facilitates dialogue and collaboration between decision-makers and civil society groups, emphasizing alliances with those serving marginalized communities. México Evalúa's activities include comprehensive evaluations, capacity-building workshops, and fostering accountability through shared agendas and commitments. They prioritize transparency by making all information publicly available through dedicated online platforms and consider gender and intersectional aspects in their evaluations. 

The Impact

  • Establishment of nine active local stakeholder networks (Red Justicia) across different states to monitor, engage, and collaborate on justice system improvements. 

  • Development of state-specific agendas with 81 active commitments and corresponding work plans, updated quarterly by authorities and stakeholders. 

  • Proposed reforms to the Criminal Code in San Luis Potosí to decriminalize low-level infractions and promote alternative solutions. 

  • In Coahuila, measures have been implemented to address drug-related issues from a public health perspective and expand protection for women victims of violence. 

  • Also in Coahuila, supported collaboration between the Attorney General’s Office and Supreme Court to reduce impunity, particularly in cases of family violence and femicides. 

  • Designed programs to reduce child sexual abuse in Nayarit, particularly in tourist areas, through collaboration between authorities and the business community. 

  • Inspired initiatives in Baja California to enhance access to justice for migrants, including streamlined complaint processes and connections with civil society organizations. 

The Future
Mexico Evalúa aims to continue documenting stories and lessons learned to strengthen achievements in the criminal justice sector. The focus will be on further collaboration through Red Justicia networks, integrating new actors, and fostering a learning community. They seek to demonstrate to authorities the feasibility and benefits of cooperation in criminal justice, ensuring reforms remain responsive to citizens' needs.