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Investigators are 'Weak Link' in Mexico
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December 13, 2010

Mexico City - Mexican legal observers say the current unraveling of nationwide corruption case demonstrates a "weak link" in Mexico's justice system.

The Los Angeles Times reported Sunday that the case filed last year against 35 mayors, police chiefs and other officials in the state of Michiocan was falling apart due to low-quality evidence from poorly trained and possibly corrupt investigators.

All but one of the defendants were set free by judges who determined there was insufficient evidence presented by ministerios publicos. Many of the suspects returned to their old jobs.

"This is the weak link of the Mexican criminal justice system," John Mill Ackerman, a law professor and editor of the Mexican Law Review, told the Times. "If the ministerio publico doesn't do its job right - even if you have an honest judge - you're not going to be able to convict."

The Times said court records showed investigators often did poor-quality work and relied on circumstantial evidence that failed to hold up in court.

"If even a case with so much resonance and so much attention can't end in conviction, what can we expect from the rest of the cases that don't claim as much attention?" said political analyst Alfonso Zarate.

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