Ashley Perry Nov. 18, 2014, 11:17am

U.S. Attorney John Walsh, Mexican Consulate General Carlos J. Bello, and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers sign a trilateral memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Monday to protect Mexican nationals in Colorado who are victims of crime.

While the MOU does not change existing laws, it is the first time Mexico, the federal government and a state government have entered into such an agreement. 

“Today’s signing of this ground-breaking MOU reflects the dedication of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, and the Mexican Consulate to cooperate, communicate and work together to ensure that legal protections for crime victims found in both federal and state law extend fully to the Mexican community here in Colorado,” Walsh said.

The MOU aims to promote trust in the Mexican community with all levels of law enforcement.

“This MOU institutionalizes the framework of cooperation through which we have worked together to promote a culture of prevention and reporting, fostering trust within the Mexican Community and a strategy of outreach that includes the active participation of the US Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Attorney General’s Office,” Bello said.

The agreement followed 18 months of community meetings, workshops and conference calls focusing on labor rights, human trafficking, domestic violence and other issues. The meetings even extended to talks of emergency preparedness.

“Whenever we have an opportunity to unite - as we are here today - we can help reach our goal of protecting and promoting the lawful rights of Mexican nationals by advancing the trust between the Mexican community in Colorado and law enforcement,” Suthers said. “I am optimistic that by signing this Memorandum of Understanding we will move toward achieving that goal.”

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