HomeNewsBriefMexico Not Doing Enough to Seize Drug Assets: Govt Study
BRIEF

Mexico Not Doing Enough to Seize Drug Assets: Govt Study

MEXICO / 19 JUL 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

According to a study by Mexico’s lower house of Congress, the authorities are failing to seize assets linked to organized crime, despite a recent law intended to streamline the process.

The study found that between 2010 and 2011, only three cases involving the seizure of assets resulted in a ruling favorable to the government. Last year the Attorney General’s Office (PGR) initiated 10 cases involving the seizure of property or other goods linked to organized crime, but so far 2012 hasn’t seen any new cases.

By contrast, Guatemala and Colombia between them saw 2,700 cases processed during a one-year period, according to the report. This is despite the fact that Guatemala only passed an asset seizure law in 2010, while Mexico approved a similar law in 2008.

Last year Colombia’s attorney general seized a total of 3.4 billion pesos (about $242 million) in assets linked to crime. According to Mexico’s congressional study, there are no reliable numbers out yet about the monetary value of assets seized in Mexico in recent years.

InSight Crime Analysis

Prior to 2008, Mexico’s law only allowed the government to seize goods if they compensated the owner first. A modification to the constitution in 2008 was supposed to make it easier to confiscate goods linked to organized crime.

But as the congressional study points out, there are still some legal technicalities preventing the courts from pushing through asset seizure cases. In Mexico, goods can only be seized if the defendants are charged with certain offenses: organized crime, drug-related crimes, kidnapping, vehicle theft, and human trafficking. In Colombia, however, 25 different crimes are defined as sufficient justification for seizing the defendant’s assets, while 40 are listed in Guatemala.

The seizure of land, houses, cars, and other goods from criminals should be one of Mexico’s most important legal tools in the fight against crime. But, judging by the study, it appears that the 2008 asset seizure law is too narrow to be effective.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

CRIMINAL MIGRATION / 22 FEB 2017

In a number of ways, the Trump administration's plan to curb illegal immigration in the United States could facilitate…

MEXICO / 25 JAN 2016

A new World Bank report states there is a correlation between homicide rates and the number of unemployed male youths…

HUMAN RIGHTS / 28 MAR 2018

A spate of attacks against politicians ahead of the July presidential elections in Mexico has once again turned attention to…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Guatemala Social Insecurity Investigation Makes Front Page News

10 DEC 2021

InSight Crime’s latest investigation into a case of corruption within Guatemala's social security agency linked to the deaths of patients with kidney disease made waves in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Venezuela El Dorado Investigation Makes Headlines

3 DEC 2021

InSight Crime's investigation into the trafficking of illegal gold in Venezuela's Amazon region generated impact on both social media and in the press. Besides being republished and mentioned by several…

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…