Mexico City, Mexico — The World Justice Project index (WJP), which measures the effectiveness of the rule of law, Mexico fell several positions.
The most recent numbers from the WJP show that the country fell from 88 to 92 out of 113 nations evaluated.
One of the findings is that, in terms of criminal justice in which they analyzed whether the investigations are effective, if the prisons fulfill their purpose of sanction and social reintegration and if due process is respected, Mexico came out with poor ratings.
In contrast, in the area of open government, which evaluated the right to information and citizen participation, it obtained better results.
To fulfill the WJP report, its leaders ask citizens and experts how they find the rule of law in their daily lives, measuring aspects such as perception of insecurity, level of corruption or effectiveness of justice systems.
Leslie Solis, WJP researcher, points out that, as the Rule of Law is a difficult concept to understand, it is best to divide it into eight dimensions.
These dimensions include Limits to governmental power, Absence of corruption, Open government, Fundamental rights, Order and security, Regulatory compliance, Civil justice and Criminal justice.
According to the index, Mexico is among the countries with weak adherence to the rule of law. In comparison with other Latin American nations, it is only above Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, Bolivia and Venezuela, which occupies last places in the ranking.
Among the countries with the best results are Denmark, which was ranked number one, followed by Norway and Finland. In Latin America, only Uruguay reaches the top of the table, ranking 22 above Spain.
Layda Negrete, WPJ researcher, explains that, although Mexico occupies one of the lowest positions worldwide and in comparison with its economic peers, there are some chiaroscuros that must be taken into account.
“There is open government, (there) it is well evaluated, but at the same time it is lagging behind in the absence of corruption. It is something that happens in the subject of criminal justice. There is more due process, but there are no better police and better prosecutors,” he says.
Researchers agree that all the data help to understand where more attention is required, to look for areas of opportunity and to detect which are the most urgent and important aspects to attend.
“It’s like a report card where you can see what are the main strengths and weaknesses of each country, so we can have much deeper public policy debates,” says Solís.
For Negrete, the rule of law is something that can be improved since it is built between citizens, civil society organizations and government. Therefore, he points out some options that can begin to be discussed in Mexico.
One of them is to incorporate scientific methods in the investigation of crime, with statistical tools that allow locating where crimes occur and how often, as well as identifying the red dots and their respective contexts.
Negrete also points out opportunities to elaborate more transparent rules in the judicial process and that these be public, as well as to strengthen the police, prosecutors and justice systems as a whole.
“That is the lag that needs to be addressed,” says the researcher.
According to the recent WJP report, the country with the most significant fall was the Philippines who they report fell 18 positions to take over Mexico’s previous spot of 88 out of 113.