The Spanish Minister for Justice, Rafael Catalá, met in Mexico with the Attorney General of Mexico, Arely Gómez, to discuss issues relating to legal cooperation between the two countries. They agreed to increase efforts and cooperation between their countries for greater exchange and collaboration in areas of mutual interest.
Rafael Catalá and Arely Gómez welcomed this meeting, which they both consider as a demonstration of willingness from the two governments to foster bilateral cooperation.
The issues discussed at the meeting included legal assistance on criminal affairs, regarding which the two governments highlighted the close collaboration between the two countries since 2006 in terms of the exchange of letters rogatory. A total of 165 such documents have been processed in the last four years.
Spain and Mexico also highlighted the positive results from the mechanisms for extraditing and relocating people receiving sentences. Since the year 2000, a total of 21 cases for the relocation of Mexican nationals to their country and 17 for the relocation of Spanish citizens from Mexico to Spain have been processed. There are currently 22 Spanish citizens being held in prison in Mexico and 71 Mexican citizens at penitentiary centers in Spain.
As regards the issue of international child abduction, the two delegations agreed on the positive improvements taking place in terms of communication between the authorities of Spain and Mexico, and agreed to continue working to expedite proceedings in such cases.
As regards surrogacy, Mexico expressed a desire to collaborate on resolving a number of problematic cases. Spain does not recognize the validity of surrogacy contracts, but there is an increasing number of cases in which Spanish citizens are traveling to countries such as Mexico where certain contracts are indeed recognized by the State.
Rafael Catalá and his Mexican counterpart also discussed the issue of international adoption, which has been a possibility between the two countries since 1995. The number of such adoptions has experienced a significant decline in recent years due to the strengthening of protection systems in the country of origin and the development of national child protection services, such as fostering and national adoption.
Spain committed to holding the 12th Spain-Mexico Binational Commission in Madrid next year, at which such issues as the fight against crime, the investigation and prosecution of cross-border crime, prison inmate relocation, child abduction and the consular protection of respective nationals will be analyzed.
The Spanish Minister for Justice and the Attorney General of Mexico also met with the Secretary-General of the Conference of Justice Ministers of Ibero-American Countries (COMJIB), Arkel Benítez, to discuss the internal operation of the organization, the recent changes to executive positions and its financing.
At his meeting with the Speaker of the Upper House of Parliament of Mexico, Rafael Catalá and Roberto Gil Zuarth reviewed the recent legislative reforms adopted by the two countries. The Spanish Minister for Justice stressed that the social, economic and political development of Mexico and Spain requires legal cooperation instruments – both civil and criminal – to be constantly updated. In turn, Roberto Gil Zuarth expressed a desire for the “political tension arising in recent months with Catalonia to be resolved through dialogue, political debate, the institutional channels of respect for constitutional order and through democratic processes”. Roberto Gil Zuarth advocated a prosperous Catalonia as part of a united Spain within the boundaries of a strong Europe.
The Spanish minister also met with representatives from Spanish law firms in Mexico and leading Mexican law firms.