2016 is off to an exciting start for the CWAG Alliance Partnership!

Updates from the CWAG Alliance Partnership
Cross Examination Seminar

You are cordially invited to the next Virtual Seminar on the topic of Cross Examination during Trial. Experienced prosecutors from the Washington State Attorney General's Office will share presentations and demonstrations regarding Cross Examination. This event will be broadcast in Spanish, and there is no cost to tune in. Enroll here, and tune in live here, on Wednesday, April 6.
10:00am - 1:30pm (Pacific)
11:00am - 2:30pm (Mountain)
12:00pm - 3:30pm (Central)
1:00pm - 4:30pm (Eastern)

Sharing Experiences in Albuquerque

An Interdisciplinary Exchange was held in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with 15 participants from the Baja California, Sonora and Chihuahua Attorneys Generals' Offices. Participants heard lectures and did practical exercises from a variety of experienced US law enforcement professionals from the New Mexico Attorney General's Office; had the opportunity to visit criminal courts for the observation of direct and cross examination in a murder trial; and visited the forensic crime lab for a tour and meetings with the police crime lab director. New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas joined the group for closing ceremonies on Friday expressing his strong desire to continue strengthening relationships with his colleagues across the border during his time as Attorney General.
Justice Forum in Baja California Sur

At the February 10th inauguration of the "Forum on Oral Trials: A New Way of Doing Justice in Baja California Sur" in La Paz, BCS, Governor Carlos Mendoza Davis asserted that, "Justice delayed is justice denied; we as authorities have an enormous commitment to provide security and a transparent judicial process to each of our citizens." Some 400 members of the Baja California Sur legal community, including prosecutors, investigators, forensic experts, judges, public and private defense attorneys, law school faculty and students, and private attorneys, gathered to learn about oral trials from experienced US litigators, and observe a mock trial enacted by personnel from the state Attorney General's Office, Public Defender's Office and Judiciary. An additional 216 unique viewers observed the event via live simultaneous online broadcast. The broadcast is available (in Spanish) here.
Cooperation Across the Border

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich hosted an International Cooperation Across the Border conference, in conjunction with the Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership and the Southwest Border Anti-Money Laundering Alliance (SWBAML) from February 29 to March 1, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference, which featured the participation of 9 Mexican and 6 US state Attorneys General, along with José Alberto Rodríguez Calderón, the Chief Deputy Attorney General for Legal and International Affairs of Mexico's Federal Attorney General's Office (PGR), provided an opportunity for the state Attorneys General to meet and collaborate on topics surrounding transnational organized crime. Presentations by the PGR, Mexico's National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), the Transaction Record Analysis Center (TRAC) and other law enforcement agencies led to the creation of new relationships and collaborative projects that AGs from the two countries will undertake in the future.
The 'Investigative Trilogy' Learns Together during Interdisciplinary Exchange

From March 7 to 11, a group of prosecutors, investigators and forensic scientists from the Attorneys Generals' Offices of the Mexican states of Puebla, San Luis Potosí, Tabasco and Mexico City gathered in Mexico City, where they learned about working together as a team to bring a case to trial, with the participation of experienced US investigators and litigators from Arizona and Washington, DC. Simultaneously, a team of US instructors shared the live lectures via videoconference in Ciudad del Carmen, Campeche, and conducted practice sessions on site. The teams participated in a series of practical exercises from investigation through trial with experienced investigators and litigators from California and Oregon. 60 Mexican law enforcement personnel and 8 US instructors participated in the Exchange.
July 2016 Binational AG Exchange

The Conference of Western Attorneys General (CWAG) Alliance Partnership and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden will host the 2016 CWAG Alliance Partnership Binational State Attorney General Exchange from July 16 to July 18 at the Sun Valley Resort in Sun Valley, Idaho. The event will provide a forum for state Attorneys General from the United States and Mexico, as well as federal agencies and private sector partners, to share experiences, advances and updates on technology used to combat transnational crime.
First Oral Trial in BCS

CWAG congratulates the Baja California Sur Attorney General's Office on obtaining a conviction in their first oral trial under the New System of Criminal Justice. CWAG Legal Advisor Frank Collins consulted with the prosecutor handling the case prior to the oral trial. During some 5 hours together, they discussed strategies for presenting the witnesses and physical evidence, analyzed the state's evidence in support of its assertions, and rehearsed opening and closing statements. This intense preparation paid off in a strong showing in court, and a guilty verdict.

The case dealt with a carjacking of a taxi that occurred in Ciudad Constitución on August 11, 2015. The trial was held on the 29th of February. The Attorney General's Office said, "With the completion of the first oral trial in the history of Baja California Sur and the resulting guilty verdict, the Attorney General's Office proves through its actions the commitment of the citizens of our state to carry out criminal investigations in a professional, technical, scientific and legal manner, to prove criminal responsibility."

Previous Seminars Available Online

Previously recorded Virtual Seminars continue to be available for viewing on CWAG's Livestream page. (In Spanish)
Presentation of Electronically Stored Evidence, https://livestream.com/CWAGchannel/EvidenciaElectronica
Human Trafficking: Anti-trafficking Efforts in Utah and Latin America, http://new.livestream.com/cwagchannel/contratrata
Legal Argument, https://livestream.com/CWAGchannel/ArgumentacionJuridica
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
For all information and requests, please contact:
Susan Lustig
Administrative Director
Cell: 805.264.4277

~ or ~

Lauren Niehaus
Deputy Director
Cell: 303.827.9039

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

The CWAG Alliance Partnership is on Facebook and Twitter. Follow us at www.facebook.com/CWAGAP and on Twitter @cwagap.
INL-Mexico Logo
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.

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