How lengthy is Mexico's informal pre-trial detention?

What is informal pre-trial detention in Mexico? The Supreme Court will decide whether the legal figure of unofficial pre-trial detention is unconstitutional.

How lengthy is Mexico's informal pre-trial detention?
Some offenses warrant unofficial pre-trial imprisonment. Photo by Oscar De La Lanza / Unsplash

A few days ago, Chief Justice Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea announced that the Supreme Court would analyze two issues related to informal pre-trial detention to determine whether it is unconstitutional and whether it can be declared unconstitutional.

In February of this year, the Court decided on this issue. It said that the precautionary measure of unofficial pre-trial detention, which is used for serious crimes, should be reviewed or changed if a person spends more than two years in prison without getting a sentence.

What is unofficial pre-trial detention?

Pretrial detention is a precautionary measure imposed on the accused by a judge and consists of the temporary deprivation of the right to personal liberty to ensure the integrity of victims or witnesses, as well as the development of the investigation or the conclusion of the criminal process, according to the Public Policy Research Center (IMCO). The Political Constitution of the United Mexican States says what the limits are and how precautionary steps, like informal preventive detention, can be used.

How long does informal pre-trial detention last?

Informal pre-trial detention may not exceed two years and may only be extended if the accused is exercising his right to a defense. If after two years, there is no sentence, the accused will be released, the process will continue, and new precautionary measures will be imposed.