Mexico opens first university program on evidence collection

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Mexico opens first university program on evidence collection 2

It’s Mexico’s first ever university program focused on forensic science, the collection and analysis of evidence used during an investigation. But will it help Mexico modernize its crime fighting methods?

CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports as classes get underway. Follow Martin Markovits on Twitter @MartinMarkovits

Mexico opens first university program on evidence collection

Mexico opens first university program on evidence collection

It’s Mexico’s first ever university program focused on forensic science, the collection and analysis of evidence used during an investigation. But will it help Mexico modernize its crime fighting methods? CCTV America’s Martin Markovits reports as classes get underway.

Located two hours outside of Mexico City, this used to be the sprawling compound of former Colombian kingpin Harold Poveda.

Now, in an ironic twist, almost six years after his capture, his estate is the new home of Mexico’s first ever bachelor degree program in forensic science. A course aimed at training a new generation of students in the fight against the cartels in Mexico’s bloody drug war.

22-year-old Monserrat Ortiz is one of just 30 students enrolled in the class.

“Sadly, the people who dedicate themselves in this field are having a tough time because problem has become too great. We need more people interested in this field to help keep the peace,” Ortiz said.

Launched by both the Mexican government and National Autonomous University of Mexico, the program’s goal is to have a state of the art facility that teaches modern forensic techniques for a profession that has long been neglected.

In Mexico, many crimes go unprosecuted. Crime scenes are not protected, and key evidence is handled without proper care. Investigators lack proper training, and for years, critics said the Mexican government has failed to give proper guidelines.

But in 2008, major legal reforms were passed that required forensic evidence to be a key part of criminal trials.

“It’s important that the forensic specialists involved in cases are skilled enough to do the job. Not just in experience but also in education. Because now when the case goes to trial, our work has to be submitted as evidence.” Forensic Science Professor Alejandra Castillo said.

As Mexico’s drug war rages on, the country’s new bachelor program in forensics science is an important step to modernizing Mexico’s crime fighting methods.