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International Law

Teen’s Murder Spurs Mexican Police & Legal System Reform Efforts

Posted Aug 14, 2008 1:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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In a country already reeling from the effects of a brutal drug war, the abduction and murder of the 14-year-old son of a well-to-do Mexican industrialist is spurring national efforts to clean up the country's police and courts.

"Mexicans have lived for decades with police corruption and a legal system that convicts fewer than one person for every 100 crimes committed, according to the Business Sector's Coordinating Counsel. They've put up with a rising number of abductions, but the [Fernando] Marti case has gripped the nation," reports McClatchy News Service.

The teen was kidnapped in early June by men wearing Federal Agency of Investigations uniforms, and two police agents are among the three individuals are now in custody concerning the crime. Marti's family paid an estimated $2 million ransom, after the kidnappers allegedly attacked his driver and bodyguard and left them in a car for dead (one survived) to drive home their demands.

However, the teenager also was apparently murdered, and his decomposed body was found in the trunk of a car in Mexico City earlier this month, according to the BBC.

Since then, Mexico City's judicial police force has been disbanded (a new team of detectives is planned), heads have rolled at the attorney general's office and a march is planned for later this month, the McClatchy article recounts.

"Officially there were 438 abductions in Mexico last year, a 35 percent increase over the 325 in 2006," the article states. "Unofficially, the news media and security consultants speak of hundreds more, because many go unreported."

Related coverage:

Houston Chronicle (editorial): "Mexico's Boiling Point"

ABAJournal.com: "Another Top Cop is Murdered in Mexico"

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