1. The WordReference Forums have moved to new forum software. (Details)

Procurador General / Ministerio Público / Fiscal General

Discussion in 'Legal Terminology' started by SmudgeJely, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. SmudgeJely Junior Member

    English - USA
    Can anyone explain the difference between Procurador General, Ministerio Público, and Fiscal General? Procurador General seems to be Attorney General, but Ministero Público/Fiscal General seem to be pretty similar...maybe state's attorney's office? But for the whole country?

    Right now I'm specifically dealing with Venezuela, but I'm curious in general too. An article of Venezuela's Criminal Code (148) lists the Procurador General and the Fiscal General separately, so I guess there must be some difference, but I don't know what it is!
     
  2. Nenita75

    Nenita75 Junior Member

    Washington
    United States, Spanish & English
    I have recently changed jobs and I am now located at the state attorney general's office.

    In researching my position and getting a feel for Latino outreach in our state, I have come across these three different ways "State Attorney General" has been translated. Which term is correct??

    The majority of our state's Latino population are Mexican immigrants with others being from Central America (i.e. El Salvador & Guatemala), fewer are from South America.

    Now, some Latino community leaders have said that Procurador General, which is the term currently used, has a negative connotation for many Latinos and that is why they are afraid to communicate with our offices. In your opinion, does it seem negative? It does not to me, but then ¿qué se yo?

    If you can help me, thank you! Se lo agradezco muchísimo...
     
  3. scotu Senior Member

    Paradise: LaX.Nay.Mex.
    Chicago English
  4. David Senior Member

    "Now, some Latino community leaders have said that Procurador General, which is the term currently used, has a negative connotation for many Latinos and that is why they are afraid to communicate with our offices. In your opinion, does it seem negative? It does not to me, but then ¿qué se yo?"

    Yo digo Horsefeathers! A fiscal is a criminal prosecutor, and State AG's in the US have mostly civil jurisdiction. El procurador or Procurador General is the Attorney General. I don´t remember what the WAshington AG's jurisdiction is: in some states a lot of criminal; in others DA´s are independent of the AG, but one way or the other the Procurador is the Attorney -general. A fiscal is a prosecutor. The Ministerio Público in México as in Spain and I think in El Salvador and Guatemala, is the prosecutorial agency for criminal matters, with each prosecutor in the Ministerio being a fiscal.

    But the AG of Washington is el Procurador General del Estado de Washington. Whatever the "immigrant experts" tell you about "attitudes," that´s like saying "I didn´t like Franco and I didn´t like Rommel, and General Patton was nasty, so Petraeus is not a general, he is a corporal." Nonsense. There are a lot of corrupt prosecutors and Attorneys General in Latin America. The last Attorney General of the United States was canned for incompetence and duplicity. But he was the Attoprney General, not a tunafish. I remember a DA in this country who was indicted for hiring a hit on his wife. But that doens´t mean he wasn´t the DA! Ministerio Público and Fiscal are both exclusively criminal prosecutors, inapposite for the State Attorney General.

    Kick it around at the next NAAG meeting (National Assn. of Aspiring Governors!). Believe me, I know whereof I speak.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2008
  5. Inti76 New Member

    Spanish - Latin American
    I have the same problem regarding El Salvador...
    They have a Procuraduria General de la Republica and a Fiscalia General de la Republica.
    I have reviewed many froum threads but they only translate Attorney General's Office which works great for Fiscalia General but not for Procuraduria General.
    I know that in the case of Human Rights (Procurador de Derechos Humanos) is called the Ombudsman. but the Procurador General I dont know... I got the suggestion of Inspector General but I am wondering if there is no better term.

    In the case of El Salvador they have a clear difference bewteen Procurador General and Fiscal General:

    "Corresponde al Procurador General de la República, velar por la defensa de la familia, de las personas e intereses de los menores e incapaces, a diferencia de otros países donde la Procuraduría General de la República cumple funciones de institución fiscalizadora en representación del Estado. En El Salvador dicha función le corresponde a la Fiscalía General de la República, mientras que la defensa en nombre del Estado la ejerce la Procuraduría General de la República,"

    I will be more than grateful if anyone can reply to this.
     
  6. Inti76 New Member

    Spanish - Latin American
    Sorry, I forgot to add that both authorities are part of the Ministerio Publico.
     
  7. Simon Rinalducci Senior Member

    Mexican Spanish
    El ministerio público es una institución unitaria y jerárquica dependiente del Poder Ejecutivo, que posee como funciones esenciales las de persecución de los delitos y el ejercicio de la acción penal; intervención en otros procedimientos judiciales para la defensa de intereses sociales, de ausentes, menores e incapacitados, y finalmente, como consultor y asesor de los jueces y tribunales.

    El Procurador encabeza al Ministerio Público.

    Ahora bien: en la práctica y ante el surgimiento de figuras como la del Fiscal General, se ha encomendado a éste la realización de las funciones originariamente encomendadas al Procurador relacionadas con la invesitgación y persecución de los delitos, dejando las demás reservadas para el Titular del Ministerio Público.

    Una opinión muy particular.
     
  8. Inti76 New Member

    Spanish - Latin American
    Actually, in El Salvador is not like that... if you see above I posted the specific functions of the Procurador General in El Salvador, his/her function is not quite like the functions of the General Attorney.
    And about the Ministerio Publico, the Procurador General and the Fiscal General are part of it but none leads it, they have independent offices as their functions are very different.
    So my quesiton of how to translate Procurador General still remains...

    Here I post the law that created it in El Salvador:

    Ley Orgánica del Ministerio Público:

    Art. 1.- El Ministerio Público estará constituido por la Fiscalía General de la República y la Procuraduría General de la República, las que en ésta y otras leyes, podrán llamarse "Fiscalía General" o "Fiscalía" y "Procuraduría General" o "Procuraduría", respectivamente.
    El titular de la Fiscalía será el Fiscal General de la República, quien en ésta y otras leyes, podrá denominarse "Fiscal General"; y el titular de la Procuraduría será el Procurador General de la República, quien en ésta y otras leyes podrá denominarse "Procurador General".
    El Fiscal General de la República y el Procurador General de la República serán la autoridad máxima en su respectiva Institución, con poderes de dirección y decisión en lo relativo a la organización y realización de sus atribuciones. (5)
    Art. 2.- El Fiscal General de la República y el Procurador General de la República serán independientes entre sí en el ejercicio de sus respectivas atribuciones; pero estarán obligados a prestarse la necesaria cooperación.
     
  9. David Senior Member

    Can anyone explain the difference between Procurador General, Ministerio Público, and Fiscal General? Procurador General seems to be Attorney General, but Ministero Público/Fiscal General seem to be pretty similar...maybe state's attorney's office? But for the whole country?


    In general: a Procurador General is (in US terms) the Attorney General, both civil and criminal cases on behalf of the govt. Head of the Procuraduría or maybe the Ministerio de Justicia, or something else like the US Dept of Justice or a State AG's office.
    Ministerio Público: The public agency in many Latin American countries, called a Ministry, which prosecutes criminal cases. It does not have civil jurisdiction (defending damage suits filed against the gov or whatever).
    Fiscal, Fiscalía General mean prosecutor, Prosecutor General. Might be head of the Ministerio Público or there might be a different setup another country. But when you see "Procurador," think AG and when you see Fiscal, think prosecutor. Each country will vary slightly in this regard but I think the Ministerio Público comes straight from Spain.
     
  10. Inti76 New Member

    Spanish - Latin American
    I don't think that is accurate David...
    at least not for the case of el Salvador... where as I posted:

    In El Salvador "Corresponde al Procurador General de la República, velar por la defensa de la familia, de las personas e intereses de los menores e incapaces, a diferencia de otros países donde la Procuraduría General de la República cumple funciones de institución fiscalizadora en representación del Estado. En El Salvador dicha función le corresponde a la Fiscalía General de la República, mientras que la defensa en nombre del Estado la ejerce la Procuraduría General de la República,"
     
  11. David Senior Member

    It may be that the Fiscal in el Salvador "vela", or at least is supposed to "velar por la defensa de la familia" y los incapaces. However, as you say "la defensa en nombre del estado" is in the hands of a Procurador, akin to an Attorney General.

    As the systems are entirely different--there is no such thing in English law as an acusador particular or a juez de instrucción or a thousand other things--the terminology varies between systems, among jurisdictions (a district attorney in New York is a State's attorney in Florida, is a fiscal or a personero in Panama, etc etc etc), the terminology is never exact.

    Nevertheless, in response to the posting of SmudgeJely, a procurador is likely to have largely civil (plaintiff and defense) powers and perhaps some criminal authority, just like an Attorney General. A fiscal is usually a prosecutor. The translation in a given case would be based on the translator's knowledge of the equivalents and best judgement about the best translation for a given document.
     
  12. cipotarebelde Senior Member

    El Salvador
    USA English
    The PGR in El Salvador is the Public Defender as the best translation. Although the PGR provides public defenders in criminal trials, it also provides "defense" fro the poor and vulnerable populations on everything from child support to convicted criminal's rights in the prison system (at least in theory!). The FGR is the Attorney General. Together they are the Ministerio Público which I have no idea how to translate. Remember that in ES, the PGR and FGR are NOT Ministries of the Executive Branch.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2012
  13. David Senior Member

    Nonsense. A "public defender" is a "defensor de oficio," appointed by the state to defend accused criminals.

    The Procurador General, regardles off specific duties, is in US English, the "Attorney General." The Fiscal General would be the Prosecutor General. The Ministerio Público, which derives from Spanish legal tradition, has no direct equivalent and is therefore best translated as Office of the Prosecutor General.

    The specific details of authority or jurisdiction will vary in every country and under every system. However, a Procurador General is not a public defender.
     
  14. cipotarebelde Senior Member

    El Salvador
    USA English
    Its not nonsense David, in El Salvador the PGR is the office of the "defensores públicos" (not "de oficio" here). They are appointed by the Procurador to defend accused criminals. The difference and difficult is that PGR ALSO has other functions.
     
  15. cipotarebelde Senior Member

    El Salvador
    USA English
    For clarity's sake, in El Salvador we also have a Ministerio de Justicia y Seguridad Pública whose functions also closely resemble many of those of the Department of Justice of the U.S. El Salvador has a Procuraduría para la Defensa de los Derechos Humanos as well. En fin, there is no reason to assume that translations of different government office and state institutions means that they have the same functions, just as in the Spanish institutions with the same name in different countries have different functions. That is not to say, that the discussion of how well the translation does or doesn't fit isn't useful.
     
  16. Friendly Bob Senior Member

    Spanish
    Procurador General: The Office of the Mexican Attorney-General (hereinafter PGR) is the body of the Federal Executive Branch, which is mainly in charge of investigating and prosecuting the crimes in federal matters and whose Chief Law Enforcement Officer is Mexican Attorney General, who heads the Federal Public Prosecutor and its auxiliary bodies which are the investigative police agents and the experts.

    This office is in charge of those issues entrusted to the Mexican Attorney General and the Federal Public Prosecutor by the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, the Organic Law of the Office of the Mexican Attorney General, its Internal Regulations and other legal ordinances (www.pgr.gob.mx)


    Por otra parte, a nivel federal no existe la Fiscalía General.

    Respecto del Ministerio Público (Public Prosecution Office) , vale decir: The prosecution of all federal crimes before the courts pertains to the Public Prosecution Office ofthe Federation. Therefore, it is the duty of saidoffice to request arrest warrants against suspectsof an crime; to procure and submit evidence toprove their liability; to see that trials are conductedwith regularity so that the administration of justice.
     
  17. AlejandraG New Member

    Spanish
    No, you guys got it all wrong.
    I'm from Colombia and there is actually a difference between Procurador General, Fiscal General and Ministerio Público. But in English and specially on the legal system of the US they are the same thing: the Attorney General

    El Procurador General is the head of the Ministerio Publico that is sort of a ministry of control of the executive branch. Te Ministerio Público is composed by the Procuraduría General and the Defensoría del Pueblo.
    In Colombia, the Procurador is in charge of sanctioning the public functionaries and to be sure they carry out their duties according to the law (it's very unefficient in the practice).
    Now, the Fiscal General is the criminal prosecutor and he is part of the judiciary, and is the head of the Fiscalía General de la Nación and it is in charge of investigating the crimes and prosecuting the criminals.
    Well, that's at leats how it works in Colombia, I guess you will have to check in the specific country where you need the info.

    I hope it has been helpfull:)
    Regards!
     
  18. cipotarebelde Senior Member

    El Salvador
    USA English
    Para aclarar, estaba hablando solamente de El Salvador para hacer claro que no se puede asumir que el mismo titulo tiene las mismas funciones en diferentes países. Estoy segura que lo que explica Alejandra será muy útil la próxima vez que tengo que trabajar algo de Colombia-- ¡gracias!
     
  19. Juand93 Junior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Spanish - Colombia
    The link below might help, specially for the Colombian context

    "I definitely translate Procuradoría as Inspector General and Fiscalía as Attorney General. The Proc has a very specific function of monitoring the actions of public servants, civil or military and sanctioning them when necessary, where as the Fiscalía has functions of what we would see as the attorney general or district attorny's."

    Taken from:
    http://spanishforsocialchange.blogspot.com/2008/06/procurador-general.html
     

Share This Page