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Legal Resources in Mexico

Resources for Victims of Crimes, Human Rights Violations, or Dishonest Merchants in Mexico

Original research by Jonathan Rapoport

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Introduction
As David Horowitz would say, "Fight back, and don't let anyone rip you off!" Mexico is not the corrupt country that the pundits accuse it of being. If you know what resources to utilize and you have the courage stand up for your rights, you have nothing to fear.

Office of the Federal Attorney General for Consumer Protection (PROFECO)
If you have a dispute with a merchant or if a merchant has ripped you off, you will find that PROFECO (an acronym for Procuraduría Federal del Consumidor) has offices throughout Oaxaca to assist you in resolving your dispute with the merchant. Please obtain a Factura from the merchant. This is an official invoice that will include an imprint of their registration seal from the SHCP (Secreteria de Hacienda y Credito Publico). A valid factura will also have an imprinted invoice number in one of the top corners. Usually the numbers are in red..
On the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, PROFECO has an office at the following location in Huatulco:

Oficina Receptora de Quejas: Huatulco
Encargado: Lic. Grisel Ríos Ojeda
Domicilio: Av. Oaxaca Plaza Galerías Local 10, bajos del Hotel Hamaca
Teléfono: (958) 587-1070
Their website has a list of offices throughout Mexico. http://www.profeco.gob.mx.

See also Alvin Starkman's article, Consumer Protection in Oaxaca, Mexico: A Case Study, about his experience with PROFECO.

Oaxaca State Attorney General
They are not yet online, but they are likely to be online soon under the state government's index. http://www.oaxaca.gob.mx/estado/index.html. The public minister of the Oaxaca State Attorney General is the appropriate venue to file charges against someone who is violating your rights or who has committed a crime against you. Ask for the "Ministerio Publico" in Pochutla, Huatulco or Puerto Escondido.
Puerto Escondido has a Deputy Attorney General as well, but you must first present your complaint before the public minister. The public minister is similar to an administrative law judge in the United States. The first step that the public minister will take will be to subpeona the parties invlolved to appear before him for a hearing on the matter.

Jalisco State Attorney General
The Procuraduría General de Justicia del Estado de Jalisco has a website at http://www.jalisco.gob.mx/srias/pgj

Jalisco State Crime Reporting
The State of Jalisco has a website at http://www.jalisco.gob.mx/wps which you can report crimes by individuals or improper police actions (like bribe solicitation).

Colima State Attorney General
The Procuraduría General de Justicia Colima has a website at http://www.colima-estado.gob.mx/Gobierno/PGR/Pgr.htm

Oaxaca State Human Rights Commission
They have an office in Puerto Escondido and in Oaxaca. The office in Puerto Escondido is located a block below the crucero in the center of town. Ask for the Comision Estatal de Derechos Humanos. The address and telephone number of the Puerto Escondido office of the Oaxaca State Human Rights Commission is:
    Oficina Regional Costa
    Felipe Merklin no. 503-A, Col. Centro, C.P. 71980
    Puerto Escondido, Oax.
    Tel/Fax: (954) 582-0336

They can help you to resolve a wide variety of matters, especially if the police are not able to respond to your complaints adequately because of a lack of resources. They also document and investigate abuses committed by individuals who fraudulently claim to be part of a police agency or other official body. They also investigate abuses committed by individuals with money or power who trample the rights of meek, assuming that they won't know how to defend themselves.
The State Human Rights Commission is not a subversive organization. It is designed to protect the human rights of residents of and visitors to Oaxaca. The organization works to help improve the effectiveness of law enforcement in Oaxaca.
The State Human Rights Commission was founded with the former Governor of Oaxaca, Lic. Diódoro Carrasco Altamirano, participating in the inauguration. Their website is www.cedhoax.org

Mexico National Human Rights Commission
http://www.cndh.org.mx/

United States Consular Service
The consular service can assist victims of crimes, human rights abuses, and dishonest merchants by advising them on how to proceed within the justice system in Oaxaca.

United States Consular Agent in Oaxaca
Macedonio Alcalá 407, Office 20
68000 Oaxaca, Oaxaca
Telephone Numbers: (951) 514-3054, 516-2853
Fax: (951) 516-2701
Office Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
E-mail: conagent@prodigy.net.mx
Consular Agent: Mark A. Leyes
The website of the United States Embassy in Mexico City lists consular agents and agencies throughout Mexico and describes the services they provide. http://www.usembassy-mexico.gov/edirector.html

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