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Media 021312 DOJ-PGR

Monday, February 13, 2012

U.S. Ambassador and Mexican Attorney General Launch Training Program for Prosecutors and Investigators

U.S. Ambassador Anthony Wayne and Mexico's Attorney General Lic. Marisela Morales Ibañez launched Proyecto Diamante, a comprehensive training program designed and developed jointly by the U.S. Department of Justice and Mexico's Procuraduria General de la Republica to train 2,500 PGR prosecutors and 6,000 investigators over the next 12 months in core competencies.

Attorney General Morales said the support from the U.S. Government, "Adds to the work that we are doing to ensure our mission of creating effective justice for all Mexicans, in particular, and of course providing for the security of the citizens of both our nations."

"Under the leadership and guidance of Attorney General Morales, the PGR has bravely undertaken real and lasting institutional reform," Ambassador Wayne said.  "Proyecto Diamante represents Attorney General Morales's commitment to the transition from an inquisitorial justice system to a more accusatorial justice system.  This ambitious training program will ensure that the some 8,000 members of the PGR receive standardized training in investigative techniques and prosecutorial skills which will enhance the capability of PGR to identify, investigate, prosecute and convict violent criminals and criminal organizations in Mexico."

Ambassador Wayne noted that Investigators will be trained in core competencies such as criminal intelligence, interview techniques, and investigative techniques, while Prosecutors will be trained in their role as legal advisors to investigations, preparation for oral trial, openings, closings, direct, and cross-examinations, and objections.  While the training of the PGR instructors will take place in Mexico City, those instructors will return to their home districts to replicate the training for prosecutors and investigators there, establishing a sustainable institutional framework for future PGR training. 

Funded in part by the U.S. Government under the Merida Initiative, Proyecto Diamante serves as a strong example of the ongoing partnership between the United States and Mexico. To date, almost $900 million in equipment and training has been delivered to Mexico under the Merida Initiative.  This assistance not only included support for the security and justice sectors, but also assistance for building strong and resilient communities. 

Noting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's observation that criminals know no borders, respect no flag, and embrace no rule of law but their own, U.S. Attorney for the Virgin Islands Ronald W. Sharpe said, "Our nations' security interests are intertwined. The more we can understand each other and work together, including common strategies and a harmonization of our respective criminal justice systems, the better we can deal with the crime phenomenon that threatens both communities.  By working shoulder to shoulder with our law enforcement counterparts in Mexico, we help strengthen the safety and security of this region."

Upon completion of this plan, the PGR will have a cadre of 130 trained and experienced instructors capable of replicating this training as new personnel join the ranks of the PGR. 

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Press release, Feb.7, 2012, Embassy of the United States, Mexico City

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