Mérida, the first municipality in the country with a Juvenile Detention Protocol

Mérida, Yucatan became the first municipality in the country to establish a “Protocol of action to detain children and adolescents” who commit crimes, administrative offenses or misdemeanors, which also establishes the instances to which the cases will be taken to apply the corresponding sanctions.

The councilor and president of the Municipal Security Commission, Jesús Pérez Ballote, explained that last September they modified the Municipal Police and Good Governance Regulations, which established in their transitory articles the beginning of a 90-day period for the elaboration of a “protocol of action in the event that any minor, children or adolescents commit any crime, misdemeanor or administrative offense.

He added that the deadline expired on December 14; the document was concluded, which means that Mérida is the first city in the country to establish a protocol on this matter.

“Something important is that this protocol seeks to guarantee the fulfillment of human rights for children and adolescents,” the official said.

The councilor explained that the Protocol is classified in two axes of which the first is “detention”, item in which police action is required when identifying a minor, and that the second is the “action of the qualifying judges ”, which implies the imposition of sanctions on minors who commit crimes or administrative offenses.

“Something very important that must be clarified that the detention culminates with the provision of the child, if it is an administrative offense then it is made available to the qualifying judge, but if it is a crime, then the case is taken to the State Attorney General’s Office.”

Pérez Ballote exemplified that an administrative offense may be to paint on public roads, participate in quarrels, street harassment, physical aggression against someone, among others; while a crime can be theft, assault, injuries, or attempt to commit murder among others.

“This is like the basic “ABC” of all police actions during the detention of a minor in Mérida, and it also requires the performance of qualified judges who in the end will have to decide on the sanction.

The protocol explains in detail how the detention has to be carried out, what type of conducts or actions can be sanctioned or not. It is important to point out that boys and girls are not subject to sanctions, but anybody over 12 years of age are already subject to sanctions, however, parents are always called in any case, ” Jesús Pérez Ballote concluded.

The Yucatan Times Newsroom