Police near Peru's Congress during President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's inauguration ceremony, Lima, July 28, 2016 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).

In the most serious accusation among many that have damaged the reputation of Peru’s National Police in recent years, the country’s Interior Ministry has identified a group of police officers who allegedly participated in “death squads” that assassinated petty criminals in order to earn extra money or promotions, at a time when crime was rising to unprecedented levels. The charges complicate the urgent challenge of improving public security for a new government that has been in power for less than a month. According to the national press, 97 police officers are under investigation for the extrajudicial killings of 27 criminals […]


During a June 30 campaign stop in New Hampshire, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump pointed to a plane flying overhead and quipped that it could be a Mexican aircraft “getting ready to attack.” It’s not a small thing for the potential future U.S. president to casually suggest that neighboring Mexico is planning to launch an assault, given the close historical, security and commercial ties between the two countries. A third of U.S. territory used to belong to Mexico. Americans travel to Mexico more than any other foreign destination, and over twice as much as they do to Canada. Bilateral trade […]

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks at a news conference confirming a compromise has been reached on the judiciary reform package, Tirana, Albania, July 20, 2016 (AP photo by Hektor Pustina).

Last month, Albania’s parliament approved a judicial reform package meant to curb corruption and patronage that was prepared with the assistance of experts from the United States and the European Union. In an email interview, Agron Alibali, a special counsel for Frost and Fire Consulting in Tirana, discusses the judicial reforms. WPR: What are the problems facing Albania’s judiciary? Agron Alibali: Albania’s judicial system today is inefficient and corrupt. The belief is that cases, especially property disputes, are decided in favor of the highest bidder. A lot of judges have amassed wealth that cannot be justified by their salaries alone. […]

Federal police at a ceremony to inaugurate Mexico's new justice system, Mexico City, June 17, 2016 (AP photo by Rebecca Blackwell).

On June 18, Mexico officially completed an eight-year transition toward a new justice system, replacing an outdated inquisitorial system, in which the court acts as investigator, with an adversarial one, in which the court is mainly an impartial referee between the prosecution and the defense. Under the old system, court cases were mostly conducted on paper, rather than in oral arguments, and convictions were often based on confessions and little else. Now, oral trials will be open to the public, and they will be based on testimony, cross-examinations and a greater reliance on evidence. Expectations for the new system vary […]