Federal Government Creates New Office to Investigate, Prosecute Crimes against Women
The Procuraduria General de la Republica (PGR) has created a new office to investigate and prosecute crimes against women. The Fiscalia Especial para la Atencion de Delitos Relacionados con Actos de Violencia Contra las Mujeres will be headed by women's-rights attorney Alicia Elena Perez Duarte.
The new office will replace the special prosecutor's office created in 2004 to investigate the murders of women in Ciudad Juarez (see SourceMex, 2004-02-04). The duties of the new office will be expanded to include all 31 states and the Federal District.
Mireille Roccatti, who headed the Juarez investigative office for just a few months, resigned the post in October 2005 to take a position in the administration of newly elected Mexico state Gov. Enrique Pena (see SourceMex, 2005-10-05). Roccatti had replaced Maria Lopez Urbina, who was removed from the post because of criticisms that she was ineffective (see SourceMex, 2005-06-01). A vast majority of the more than 360 murders in Juarez remain unsolved, and the special prosecutor's office has remained vacant since Roccatti's resignation.
New entity replaces office that probed Juarez murders
The PGR pushed for the expansion of the office as part of a campaign to combat violence against women at a national level. "[The murders in Juarez] were just one example of a phenomenon that occurs across the country," said the PGR.
Some legislators welcomed the decision. "It's a good sign, and we hope it works," said Deputy Beatriz Mojica, a member of the center-left Partido de la Revolucion Democratica (PRD).
Perez Duarte acknowledged that her office faces a daunting task but said she will receive support from all the state prosecutors' offices in Mexico. In addition, the Mexican Congress has appointed a special commission, comprising 12 legislators, to assist in the investigations. …