Photo: Mexico New Crime Victims Rights Law
Mexico’s Congress promulgated on Wednesday a measure obliging the government to protect and make whole victims of the gangland violence that has claimed some 70,000 lives in the last six years.
Legislators first approved the bill last April, but then-President Felipe Calderon objected to some provisions and asked the Supreme Court to block the legislation.
Calderon’s successor, Enrique Peña Nieto, announced when he took office last month that he planned to drop the judicial challenge.
He is set to sign the measure into law later on Wednesday.
The law, which was drafted in consultation with activists, applies equally to victims of organized crime people and to people abused by authorities.
The initiative mandates creation of a national system to provide attention to victims, presided over by an executive board including representatives of victims and civic organizations.
Violence in Mexico has escalated dramatically since December 2006, when the newly inaugurated Calderon gave the armed forces the leading role in the struggle against drug cartels.
Peña Nieto says he will maintain military deployments in the most conflictive areas, while shifting the focus toward better intelligence work and efforts to improve public safety.