U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldana Welcomes Congressional Delegation From The Republic Of Mexico
DALLAS — U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas welcomed several members of the Republic of Mexico’s Congressional Delegation this morning as they began a two-day visit to North Texas. This morning, before the opening session, U.S. Attorney Saldaña, Senator Arely Gómez Gonzàlez, Congresswoman Karina Labastida Sotelo and Congressman Jorge Sotomayer Chàvez spoke to several representatives from the media.
U.S. Attorney Saldaña said, “We are greatly privileged to welcome the Mexican Congressional Delegation to North Texas. We’re honored that as they transition to an accusatorial system of justice, similar to ours, they are interested in learning more about our system. We certainly look forward to a productive dialogue and exchange of ideas with our important neighbors and friends.”
In June 2008, Mexico amended its constitution to require that by June 2016, federal and state governments implement oral trials with full rights of confrontation. The judiciary committees from both the Mexican Senate and House of Representatives requested assistance from the U.S. in discussing procedures, outlined in proposed bills, which will be applicable to the states as well as the Mexican federal government.
Following introductions this morning, the Congressional Delegation participated in a round-table panel discussion on the American Accusatory System. Panelists from the Northern District of Texas included U.S. District Judges, U.S. Magistrate Judges, the Chief of U.S. Probation and Parole and the U.S. Federal Public Defender. Later, the delegation met with various executives from federal, state and local law enforcement where topics such as agency cooperation, task forces and evidentiary chain of custody were discussed. Representatives from Senator John Cornyn’s office and Senator Ted Cruz’s office also participated.
Following this morning’s sessions, the Congressional Delegation attended presentations on the responsibilities of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including prosecuting organized crime and money laundering cases. The delegation visited a U.S. Magistrate Court for various hearings and then travelled to Dallas Police Department Headquarters where they met with senior staff and toured the facility.
On the second day of their visit to North Texas, the Delegation will observe state court proceedings and meet with the Dallas County District Attorney and state prosecutors. When they return to the federal courthouse, they will meet with the U.S. Federal Public Defender and staff, the Chief of U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services and U.S. District and Magistrate Judges. Their visit will conclude late tomorrow with another meeting with U.S. Attorney Saldaña.