Three men arrested in Tijuana for allegedly tossing two suitcases containing human remains on a roadway were released from custody Friday.
The three men, identified as Raúl Martínez Magaña, Juan Rubén Sánchez Lara, and David España Busto, were released after Judge Martha Elvia Luna Vargas ruled that although their arrests were legal, the state prosecutor did not file the appropriate detention request based on possible flight risk or danger to the public.
The defendants were released on the condition they re-appear at their next court date, which will determine if there is enough evidence to proceed with criminal charges. The judge indicated that an arrest warrant would be issued if they failed to meet their respective ends of the agreement. After their release, an agent of the State Public Ministry revealed that the three defendants provided false home addresses, according to the local outlet Canal44.
The releases sparked outrage and concern due to the record-breaking murder rate for Tijuana in 2017 and rising violent crime throughout the country. Breitbart Texas recently reported that Tijuana saw a 90 percent increase in homicides over 2016. In the first 15 days of 2018, Tijuana has already registered 83 murders, according to UniMexicali.
The president of the Superior Court of Justice of Baja California, Salvador Juan Ortiz Morales, indicated they are reviewing procedures that would allow for judges to take precautionary measures by placing defendants in preventative detention for public safety reasons while a determination is made on the reliability of evidence for criminal prosecution, UniRadio reports.
In June 2016, Mexico switched to a new accusatory system which replaced a Napoleonic code based on written arguments with trials in which evidence was presented orally. Breitbart Texas discussed the new justice system with numerous Mexican governors, attorneys general, and high-ranking police officials and they have overwhelmingly indicated it would be years until the judicial system catches up with the changes in law and procedure. Some have indicated beliefs that it would take up to 15 years.
The new system has been cited to Breitbart Texas as the main cause for dangerous criminals being released due to errors made by poorly trained prosecutors or police.
Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce has worked in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year assignment in Monterrey, Mexico, working out of the Consulate for the United States Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program, where he was the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico (Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas.)