Photo: Department of Justice
Recently the Phase I training of Project Diamante in Mexico City was completed. Project Diamante is a comprehensive, capacity-building effort developed by professionals of the Department of Justice to reform and modernize Mexico’s criminal justice system.
Since 2009, the Department of Justice has provided major technical assistance to Mexico through the Criminal Division’s Office of Overseas Prosecutorial Development and Training (OPDAT) and the International Criminal Investigative Training Program (ICITAP) as Mexico strives to strengthen local efforts in the investigation of complex crimes.
As part of these programs, DOJ experts, including from the Criminal Division’s Office of Enforcement Operations and Office of International Affairs, have instructed their Mexican counterparts in a variety of critical areas, including criminal procedure code reform, forensic training, drafting of witness protection legislation, investigative techniques, extradition and mutual legal assistance, organizational development, human trafficking, and intellectual property rights violations.
In addition, since February 2012, experienced instructors have been training hundreds of Mexican prosecutors, investigators, and forensic experts for Project Diamante. This collaboration represents a truly historic effort bringing together American and Mexican officials to assist the Latin American nation as it continues its planned transition from an inquisitorial criminal justice system to one that is more open and adversarial.
Project Diamante’s curriculum aims to lay a solid foundation for building – and maintaining – more robust legal institutions by increasing transparency and improving key skills among members of Mexico’s law enforcement community.
As Phase I ends, the U.S. looks forward to the next phases of this ambitious program, which are designed to institutionalize the training and thereby ensure that future generations of Mexican law enforcement receive this vital foundation. In Phases II and III, Mexico will move toward institutionalizing Project Diamante training in its academies so that its next generation of prosecutors, investigators and forensic experts receives the same training and has the same essential foundation for their important work.