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Mexico Supreme Court rules police searches without warrant constitutional

Mexico City, Mexico — The Supreme Court of Mexico has declared that a search of person or private vehicle without a warrant is constitutional and therefore, legal.

The announcement came this week when the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation declared it constitutional for police to perform inspections of a person or their vehicle without a judicial or ministerial order.

By a majority vote, the court approved amendments on various provisions of the National Code of Criminal Procedure whose draft was prepared by Minister Javier Láynez.

The National Human Rights Commission recently challenged the drafted proposal on the grounds that they violated individual rights saying police being able to carry out searches of people or vehicles without the order of a judge violates the rights to personal freedom and freedom of movement, legal security, privacy, private life, personal integrity and arbitrary non-interference.

However, the ministers of the Court voted in favor of the Láynez project, which established that the arguments of the National Human Rights Commission were unfounded because the police inspections constitute preventive and provisional controls authorized under the Amparo as well as the prevention and prosecution of crimes and their investigation.

The inspections, they say, are to be carried out only in the case of reasonable suspicion or flagrancy. Láynez said that the flagrancy of a crime can be revealed in two ways. When the crime is evident in the eyes of the police or when the inspection reveals it. He added that the control judges are the ones who will qualify if said inspection was legal.

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Luis María Aguilar Morales, affirmed that the inspections are a proportional measure, suitable and with a constitutionally valid purpose to protect the public safety and the rights of the victims of crimes.