ASU Law helps strengthen rule of law in Mexico through Voz de las Victimas partnership

By

Nicole Almond Anderson

The Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University recently hosted a group of law professors from Tecnológico de Monterrey, the largest private university in Mexico.

The academic visit was part of a three-year grant the law school received from the Merida Initiative, a program of the Department of State-International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL), which began in 2017. During their visit, the professors observed ASU Law legal clinics, visited with the local U.S. attorney’s office and courts, practiced U.S. oral trial techniques and learned experiential learning pedagogical methods.

The main goal of the project, commonly referred to as Voz de las Victimas, is to support INL’s mission to strengthen rule of law in Mexico through developing and implementing law school programs to train law students, professors and administrators, as well as civil society practitioners, in the effective use of Mexico’s new oral criminal justice system.

“The synergy between Tecnológico de Monterrey and Arizona State University has been amazing,” said Evelyn Cruz, project director and clinical professor of law at ASU Law. “It has led to success that will impact the quality of legal education in Mexico for years to come,” she added.

Over the past two years, ASU Law has trained nearly 40 Tecnológico de Monterrey professors in clinical pedagogy and oral trial teaching techniques, established two victim advocacy clinics at the university’s law schools, and provided over 20 oral advocacy trainings for approximately 460 system actors in the Mexican legal system. The project has given 46 students the opportunity to obtain real-life experience while providing over 5,300 pro bono service hours and handling in excess of 300 active cases at local victim-centered law school advocacy clinics in Mexico.

For more information, please email Evelyn Cruz at Evelyn.Cruz@asu.edu.