June 2014

Delegation of U.S. Attorneys General visits Counterparts in Mexico City

On March 23-24, 2014, the CWAG Alliance Partnership held its first Binational State Attorneys General Exchange of the year between U.S. and Mexico chief law enforcement officials. The Exchange kicked off with a welcoming reception, at which U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Anthony Wayne and INL Mexico Director Annie Pforzheimer met with U.S. and Mexico state Attorneys General. Additionally, on Monday evening, the Attorneys General received a warm welcome from Deputy Chief of Mission Laura F. Dogu.


The Monday morning exchange featured a rich discussion surrounding the detection, prevention and prosecution of human trafficking and cybercrime. Feature presentations by California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Baja California Attorney General Perla del Socorro Ibarra Leyva and Campeche Attorney General Arturo Ambrosio Herrera provided updates to the delegation on key efforts each respective state is undertaking to combat human trafficking and other related crimes. A final presentation by Microsoft's Digital Crime Unit Lead for Latin America, Andres Rengifo, brought attention to the private sector's efforts against cybercrime, and the importance of the collaboration between private and public partners in fighting cyber-criminals.


With a number of Mexican state Attorneys General having recently taken office, this exchange provided a forum for new Attorneys General from Baja California, Campeche, Chihuahua, D.F., and Jalisco to connect and collaborate with their counterparts from California, Colorado, Florida, New Mexico, and Nevada. Veteran Attorneys General who have worked closely with CWAG over the years from Sonora and Zacatecas re-connected with their U.S. counterparts. The Attorneys General expressed their commitment to continuing their relationships through training, case collaboration, and future exchanges that will enhance bilateral collaboration on the state level.


The PGR welcomed the delegation of U.S. Attorneys General at a meeting with Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam, Chief Deputy for Legal and International Affairs Mariana Benitez Tiburcio, and several other department heads. Designed to address state-level issues with drug and human trafficking, the conversation quickly developed to encompass the PGR's perception of an unmet need for capacity building in the area of combatting 'high tech' crimes within both state and federal AGOs in Mexico, and the attending U.S. state Attorneys General's interest in sharing their capacities. US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Laura F. Dogu and USDOJ Legal Attaché Robert Ciaffa also attended the PGR meeting.


Nelly Montealegre Diaz, Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence Against Women and Human Trafficking, invited the U.S. Attorneys General to visit a shelter for victims of human trafficking. The delegation was most impressed by the level of excellence in attention to victims shown by the shelter program, and received a lot of information helpful to future shelter efforts in their home states.


The delegation also met with the leadership of the National Banking Commission (CNBV) and the Treasury Department's Financial Intelligence Unit (UIF) to discuss opportunities for collaboration on money laundering enforcement. The U.S. state Attorneys General signed a letter of intent with CNBV establishing a Work Group for the prevention of money laundering to better understand the problem as it has emerged in the border region shared by the United States of America and the United Mexican States.


The AML meeting was followed by an opportunity to meet with General Director of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property, Miguel Margain, Jose Arturo Ancona, PGR Director for Investigation of Industrial Property Crimes, and Federico De la Garza, MPAA-Mexico, to discuss a variety of issues surrounding Intellectual Property Protection.


After a long but productive series of meetings, the U.S. AGO delegation returned home with renewed commitments to working with their Mexican counterparts to address issues that affect the citizens of both countries.

Interdisciplinary Exchange
New Mexico-Zacatecas
Zacatecas Attorney General's Office

The first interdisciplinary exchange program of the year was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and via mixed-model videoconference in Zacatecas, Zacatecas, from March 10-14. Teams of prosecutors, investigative police and forensic scientists explored the roles of the 'investigative trilogy' in preparing a case for oral trial.


In New Mexico, 12 participants from northern border states participated in lectures and practical exercises designed to enhance teamwork and improve investigations and prosecutions. Instructors included Chief Deputy AG Kirk Torgensen of Utah, Chief Deputy Kay Winfree of Maryland, Chief Deputy AG Al Lama of New Mexico, and his staff members Assistant Attorney Generals Michael Sanchez, Shannon Murdock, Kevin Graham and Mary Helen Baber, and Special Agents Anthony Manfredi, Stan Gloria, and Michael Valdez. Participants also observed actual oral trial proceedings at the courthouse, and visited the Albuquerque Police Station and Crime Lab.


In Zacatecas, in addition to sharing the lectures by the distinguished panel via videoconference, 31 participants enjoyed practical exercises and discussions with a very experienced team: retired Texas prosecutor Carlos Valdez, Portland Police's Senior Criminalist Ken Jones, and Phoenix Police Department Crime Scene Technician Ana Lucero. With Administrative Director Susan Lustig, participants practiced their scene management, report writing and oral testimony skills, in addition to practicing working as a coherent team from investigation through prosecution. Both the Supreme Court and the University of Durango loaned the AGO its mock trial courtrooms, to allow for realistic practice sessions for all the participants. 

Interdisciplinary Exchange
Arizona-Nuevo Leon
Mock Crime Scene, Nuevo Leon


An interdisciplinary exchange program in Phoenix, Arizona, from June 2-6, brought a delegation of 18 prosecutors, investigative police and forensic scientists from the Mexican border states of Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua to visit local police and judicial facilities, and explore the roles of the 'investigative trilogy' in preparing a case for oral trial.


Phoenix, Arizona


A second interdisciplinary group of 40 people participated in the lecture series from Phoenix via videoconference technology from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, while engaging in a series of practical exchanges on site with prosecutors and a police detective from the U.S., including a mock crime scene and testimony exercises. CWAG is grateful to California Deputy Attorney General Anthony DaSilva, Benton County, Oregon, District Attorney John Haroldson Suarez, and Woodburn, Oregon, Police Detective Michael Araiza for participating in the exchange in Monterrey.

Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Visit the CWAG Alliance Partnership Website


CWAG Alliance Partnership Programs

The CWAG Alliance Partnership facilitates collaboration between U.S. and Mexican state Attorneys General's Offices. Available services include:

  • Contacts Database
    • Comprehensive, sortable contact information for people involved with AP trainings, meetings and events
  • Quick-Response Contact Information
    • Direct contacts within the U.S. and Mexican AGO's for help on specific cases
  • Case Consulting
    • Help with case preparation, from investigation to presentation in court, by a U.S. criminal prosecutor experienced in oral trials
  • Office Reviews/Efficiency Audits
    • A team of experts observes and advises on processes and procedures, to help address a specific issue or give a general perspective
  • Best Practices Consulting
    • Experienced professionals share hard-earned knowledge about issues in administration of justice

State Alliance Partnership


Council of State Governments


Border Legislative Conference


Border Governors' Conference


Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance


National Association of Attorneys General


United States Agency for International Development


US State Department Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement


North American Center for Transborder Studies at ASU


Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars


Justice in Mexico Project at USD


International Association for Court Administration

Issue: 2014-2
In This Issue
US AG's visit Mexico City
New Mexico-Zacatecas Exchange
Arizona-Nuevo Leon Exchange
CWAG on the Web
Alliance Partnership Programs
2014 Binational AG Exchange at Park City
Office Administration Conference June 27th
Justice Forum in Sonora
6th National Forum on Security and Justice
National Conference of AGs Meeting
We're on Facebook!
Coming Soon! 
July 2014 Binational Attorneys General Exchange

The CWAG Alliance Partnership is preparing for a Binational Attorneys General Exchange, to be held July 19th and 20th in Park City, Utah, in conjunction with the CWAG Annual Meeting. State attorneys general from both countries will join interested federal and private sector partners to discuss the use of technology to combat cybercrime. 
We are currently expecting 20 Mexican state attorneys general as well as representatives from the PGR, CNS, IMPI, CNBV and SHCP-UIF. 12 Attorneys General from US states are expected to attend, in addition to representatives from FinCEN, Benton County DA's Office, Carnegie Mellon University, Montclair State University, Microsoft and the Polaris Project.
Join us for a Virtual Conference on AG Office Administration 

On Friday, June 27th, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm Mountain Time (9:00 am Pacific, 11:00 am Central), the Colorado Attorney General's Office will broadcast via LiveStream, speaking on the challenges of managing the largest law office in the state - the AGO.

Join us at www.livestream.com/cwagap

Note: This event will be broadcast in Spanish. 
Justice Forum: Oral Trials in Sonora 

A one-day "Justice Forum" was held in Hermosillo, Sonora, on April 24th. The event was designed to present the benefits of an oral, adversarial system to the approximately 400 members of the legal community, including prosecutors, judiciary, defense attorneys, law students, police and military, in attendance.


A series of presentations by experienced U.S. trial attorneys in the morning session was followed by a mock trial in the afternoon, enacted by local participants. The event was also streamed live via internet, and over 200 viewers tuned in from all parts of the country.

Sixth National Forum on Security and Justice: How to Really Implement Criminal Justice Reforms

Interior Minister
Miguel Angel Osorio Chong
More than 1,400 people attended the Forum, where more than 60 experts participated in 13 conferences and panels on the implementation of the reforms. Participants also presented portions of a mock trial. CWAG Administrative Director Susan Lustig attended for the CWAG Alliance Partnership.
Attorney General
Jesus Murillo Karam

31st General Meeting of the National Conference of Attorneys General


President Enrique Peña Nieto

CWAG Administrative Director Susan Lustig attended the 31st General Meeting of the National Conference of Attorneys General in Merida, Yucatan, on May 29th, to issue an invitation to the assembled Mexican Attorneys General to attend the Binational AG Exchange to be held in Park City, Utah, in July. 
Attorneys General of Mexico


For all information and requests, contact:


Susan Lustig

Administrative Director


Cell: 805.264.4277


~ or ~


Lauren Niehaus

Director of Program Coordination


Cell: 303.827.9039

This material was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author[s] and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.
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The CWAG Alliance Partnership promotes the Rule of Law in Mexico, offering a forum for strengthening relationships between U.S. and Mexican State Attorneys General. It supports implementation of an oral adversarial criminal justice system by offering opportunities for collaboration and cooperation between both countries.

Karen White, Executive Director

Conference of Western Attorneys General Alliance Partnership