U.S. Attorney, Consulate General Of Mexico, And Colorado Attorney General Sign First Of Its Kind Memorandum Of Understanding
DENVER – This morning United States Attorney John Walsh, Mexican Consul General Carlos J. Bello, and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers signed a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) which formalized a cooperative relationship to protect and promote the lawful rights of Mexican nationals in Colorado who are victims of crime, and to promote trust between the Mexican community in Colorado and all levels of law enforcement in the state. The MOU, the first of its kind between a U.S. Attorney’s Office, state Attorney General’s Office and a Mexican Consulate, is the result of close cooperation between the three governments as they work with the Mexican community to address issues related to crime and the protection of crime victims. This important intergovernmental agreement does not change existing law – which already protects crime victims, regardless of national origin – but represents the formalization of an active partnership between the three governments to ensure that those rights are fully implemented and honored.
The Memorandum of Understanding culminates 18 months of close cooperation between the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and the Mexican Consulate General in Denver that included community meetings, workshops, and “mobile consulate” office meetings around Colorado to focus attention on labor rights, human trafficking, prevention of “notario” fraud and commercial scams, the problem of domestic violence and which even extended to emergency preparedness for the community in natural disasters.
“Today’s signing of this ground-breaking MOU reflects the dedication of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and the Mexican Consulate to cooperate, communicate and work together to ensure that legal protections for crime victims found in both federal and state law extend fully to the Mexican community here in Colorado,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “Critically, our collective efforts to promote trust between the Mexican community here in Colorado and law enforcement at all levels will ensure not only the proper protection of all residents and visitors in our state regardless of national origin, but will help ensure criminals cannot evade prosecution by targeting immigrants. Crime victims must have confidence that they can safely report crimes and identify criminals, and today’s Memorandum of Understanding is a major step forward to build that trust.”
General Consul, Carlos J. Bello, said that: “This MOU institutionalizes the framework of cooperation through which we have worked together to promote a culture of prevention and reporting, fostering trust within the Mexican Community and a strategy of outreach that includes the active participation of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office.”
“Whenever we have an opportunity to unite - as we are here today - we can help reach our goal of protecting and promoting the lawful rights of Mexican nationals by advancing the trust between the Mexican community in Colorado and law enforcement,” said Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. “I am optimistic that by signing this Memorandum of Understanding we will move toward achieving that goal.”