On April 23, The Mexican Chamber of Deputies approved a new law that allows greater power and expediency in confiscating assets from criminal organizations, specifically drug cartels. Previously, authorities had to abide by cumbersome legal procedures that could delay asset seizure for years.
The Ley de Extinción de Dominio was originally presented to Congress by President Felipe Calderón in September 2008. It was approved yesterday by an overwhelming majority─299 votes in favor, 9 against and 2 abstentions. The law is intended not only to weaken the financial apparatus of criminal organizations; confiscated money and property will go to a new fund to help the victims of organized crime.
This week the Calderón government also propsed four additional judicial reform initiatives designed to strengthen the fight against drug traffickers and other criminal organizations. Action is pending in the Mexican Senate.
Guatemala City, Guatemala
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
San Salvador, El Salvador
Julio Rank Wright
Christian Gómez, Jr.
Johanna Mendelson Forman