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Wednesday, Oct, 10, 2012

Baja California Gov. Osuna praises transparency of oral trial system

In interview with Frontera, he says it will take a generation for Mexico to perfect its court proceedings

He says training of police is what concerns officials most

He also says state has made major strides in education and health during his term

    jose guadalupe osuna millan  Baja California Gov. José Guadalupe Osuna Millán, in an interview with Frontera newspaper, said it will take a generation for Mexico to perfect its new system of oral trials. He said there have been 7,000 hearings under the new system, which he said is transparent, which he said the old written system was not. The system in Baja California began in Mexicali, the state capital.

      "I am one of those convinced that this system is here to stay, in the next year we will put it into place in both Tecate and Rosarito, or only Tecate, we have not decided yet, we'll go over the financing for it. This change will take a generation to perfect," the governor told the paper. He said the courtrooms Tecate needs for the oral trial system have already been built.

      He said training of municipal police is what concerns officials most. He said that in Mexicali, the weak point in the system, municipal police, keeps getting strengthened as as result of "frank and direct communication" between the prosecutor's office and the police hierarchy.

      He also discussed how the state is now responsible for prosecuting drug peddling cases and said 80% of home burglaries are committed by people seeking money for their drug addictions. He said a major area state government needs to continue to work on is improving programs for drug addicts and reducing their numbers.

      Osuna Millán said a major accomplishment during the first five years of his term was returning peace and tranquility to the state. He noted that Tijuana no longer is a major venue for gunbattles and drug violence.

     He said education and health advances head the accomplishments during his term. He said the state now is meeting 100% of the education coverage demand for elementary and middle school, is expanding its high school coverage and said the Autonomous University of Baja California (UABC) system now accepts more students than any other university in Mexico.

     Last week, the National Action Party governor made his fifth state-of-the-state address. A new governor will be elected next year.

     He said it was a mistake to have given an 8.5% raise to state bureaucracy workers last year, because now they expect that much or more every year.

     The interview, Frontera (PDF). Second page (PDF).

     Update, Oct. 13: In second part of interview, Osuna Millán says it is not clear that Institutional Revolutionary Party of President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto will wrest Baja California governorship from the PAN, which has held the post since 1989. Frontera's interview with the governor, entitled, "PRI does not have governorship in its pocket: Osuna." Second page.