Thursday, April 7, 2011
For Turning in Drug Traffickers, Mexicans Can Earn a Big $83
The Mexican Attorney General's Office has paid out $3.1 million in rewards since 2008 to citizens who turned in drug traffickers and other criminals, the woman nominated to be the country's next AG said.
The procedures used to pay rewards should be streamlined to speed up payments, prosecutor Marisela Morales told senators.
"If it is perfected, it will yield better results," Morales said during hearings on Wednesday.
Senators discussed Morales's nomination for attorney general and the full Senate is expected to vote to approve her on Thursday.
Mexicans can receive between 1,000 pesos and 5,000 pesos ($83 and $410) for turning in drug traffickers and other criminals wanted by authorities.
The government implemented the rewards system as the violence escalated in the war against Mexico's drug cartels.
Morales, who is in charge of the SIEDO organized crime unit of the AG's office, defended her nomination and touted her ability to deal with criminal organizations.
"There will be no room for corruption. Crime will never be stronger than the state," Morales told senators.
She vowed to take on organized crime groups and bolster cooperation with the United States and other countries involved in the war on drugs.
Drug traffickers "are not stronger than the state," Morales told senators.
"We are dealing with a phenomenon that has critically hurt the public safety of Mexicans and even national security. Criminals have modified their ways of operating and international connections, but advances have been made in fighting them," Morales said.
"Criminals will never be stronger than the state, especially if the different institutions of the three branches of government act with effective coordination. And the criminals will be even less likely to defeat the concerted efforts of nations," Morales said.
The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Morales as Mexico's next attorney general, making her the first woman to hold the post.
Marisela Morales taking oath as the new Attorney General of Mexico