In the latest upheaval of Mexico’s battered criminal justice system, top prosecutors in 21 of the country’s 31 states have abruptly resigned , the Los Angeles Times reports today.The departures included top federal prosecutors in some of Mexico’s most violent states, where drug-related violence has left thousands dead. The top prosecutor from Mexico City also resigned
Officials gave no specific reasons for the collective departures, but the LAT notes that the resignations come amid a widening purge of Mexico’s dysfunctional attorney general’s office, which is responsible for investigating federal charges, including drug trafficking and organised crime. Attorney General Marisela Morales, who took office in April, has come under pressure after seeing several high-profile cases fell apart.
“The purge is fundamental within the [attorney general’s office] to give citizens the results they legitimately demand,” Morales said in a statement Monday. “The Mexico of today requires that those of us in public office act with total dedication and responsibility of service.”
CNN reports that the lawyers resigned “by their own will,” but it remains unclear why they all stepped down at the same time.
The departures are another major setback for Mexico’s dysfunctional justice system, which is rife with impunity and corruption. Only 4.5% of reported crimes in Mexico are ever investigated and just 1% ever go before a judge, according to a recent study by Mexico’s National Autonomous University. The criminal conviction rate in Mexico is 1.8%.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.