Mexican Supreme Court rules restrictions on access to preliminary investigations unconstitutional

The Mexican Supreme Court declared laws that restrict information presented as part of a preliminary investigation are unconstitutional and restrict the public's right to access information, reported the newspaper Reforma.

The Mexican Public Ministry conducts preliminary investigations as part of an inquiry into a complaint or grievance to determine if there is enough evidence to proceed to trial.

The court ruled that articles of the Federal Code of Criminal Procedures, the Federal Transparency Law, and the National Human Rights Commission's Transparency Regulation that restrict access to information from preliminary investigations are invalid, according to the newspaper Excélsior.

The court made its decision after Rafael Rodríguez Castañeda, director of magazine Proceso, requested a review of a denial to access documents from a preliminary investigation, according to Aristegui Noticias. In August 2009, the journalist requested access to an investigation the National Human Rights Commission conducted, over which he filed a human rights complaint against the Secretary of Public Safety, according to the same publication. Before, the agency had shown copies of the magazine Proceso along with arms and illicit objects during a press conference announcing the arrest of suspected criminals.

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.