Colorado cops teaching Mexican investigators the open-court ropes

This week, Colorado's finest will teach a group of 22 Mexican investigators and prosecutors the ins and outs of bringing bad guys to justice using an open-court judicial system, as Mexico continues to move away from a paper-based trial system and toward one similar to ours.

And for fifteen glorious minutes tomorrow morning, the media will get to watch as the participants pretend-investigate a mock crime scene. Why just fifteen minutes?

"If you yourself are an aspiring murderer..." says Mike Saccone, communications director for Colorado Attorney General John Suthers. He trails off before continuing to explain. "We don't publicize investigative techniques."

Even though you won't see the tricks of the trade on the evening news anytime soon, Saccone provided a summary of the stuff the Mexicans will learn during the grant-funded trip, including "how Colorado law enforcement handles evidence, conducts searches, prepares legal briefs and prosecutes its cases."

"I hope this exercise will not only benefit law enforcement efforts south of the border, but also strengthen our partnership with the Mexican authorities," says Suthers in a statement.

And that partnership is important, Saccone says. It's responsible for arrests such as that of 59-year-old Rafael Garcia Aguilar, who was arrested in Mexico in May for the 1989 murder of Charles "Chuck" Porter in Palisades.

Aguilar is accused of shooting Porter in the head after barging into his ex-wife's house and "discovering" her there with Porter. After the alleged murder, Aguilar fled to Mexico, where he lived for two decades.

The case had gone cold until the AG's Foreign Prosecution Unit, which can request that Mexican law enforcement agencies prosecute Mexican nationals who commit crimes in the United States, picked up on it again last year.

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Melanie Asmar is a staff writer for Westword. She joined the paper in 2009 and has won awards for her stories about education, immigration and epic legal battles. Got a tip? She'd love to hear it.
Contact: Melanie Asmar

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