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Mexico: General Act on National Public Security System

(Jan. 12, 2009) On January 1, 2009, President Felipe Calderón of Mexico signed into law the General Act on the National Public Security System. It came into force on January 3, the day after its official publication. The Act establishes mechanisms of coordination between the federal and state governments in combating crime and creates various organizations to evaluate the government's anti-crime actions and to manage law enforcement staff. The Office of the President stated in a press release that the Act's principal objective is to guarantee shared responsibility and effective action among the different levels of government in matters of public security. (Publica FCH Ley de Seguridad, REFORMA, Jan. 2, 2009, available at [registration required for access to archive].)

The Act also creates the National Council of Public Security, headed by the President of the Republic and also comprising governors, Cabinet secretaries, and representatives of the civil society. The Council will promote the implementation of public policies to assist the victims of crime, bring together and develop ministerial and police models in the public security institutions, and evaluate the fulfillment of objectives and aims of the public security programs.

Within a period of six months to a year after the Act's official publication, the government must create the National Center of Information, which will be the authority responsible for the operation of the National Public Security Information System. The Act also mandates the creation of the Unique System of Crime Information, a national database of the persons likely responsible for crimes, indicted, or convicted, as well as their criminal background, forms of identification, and means and modes of operation. Within the same period of time, the government also must create the National Center of Accreditation and Trust Control and the National Center of Crime Prevention and Civic Participation. (REFORMA, supra; Decreto pro el que se expide la Ley General del Sistema Nacional de Seguridad Pública, DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN (Jan. 2, 2009), available at