Mexico Institute, 10/2/12
8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
6th Floor Auditorium
Mexico’s Federal Institute of Access to Information (IFAI) ordered the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) to release the entirety of the information with any connection to the public debt that the state of Coahuila contracted between 2007 and 2011 under the gubernatorial administration of Humberto Moreira. The CNBV had refused to release this information, arguing that its disclosure was not possible as it pertained to the portfolio of institutions belonging to development banking.
Jacqueline Peschard, president of IFAI, revoked this argument after explaining that the issuing of the debt holds a direct relationship with Banobras and Nacional Financiera, which are both public governing bodies and thus should make the information available to the public.
Adding to the economic problems looming over Coahuila that incumbent governor Rubén Moreira inherited from his brother and previous governor are the declarations from the Office of the Federal Attorney General (PGR) claiming that Los Zetas paid off various state and federal officials during the administration of Humberto Moreira to provide a network of protection for members of this drug cartel.
El Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información y Protección de Datos (IFAI) instruyó al gobierno federal a publicar “a la brevedad” un informe de ejecutados de 2011.
También avaló la reserva declarada por la Presidencia sobre esos datos “en tanto las instancias correspondientes del gobierno federal llevan a cabo los procesos de organización y verificación de la información requerida”.
Sin embargo, en una carta enviada a MILENIO, el instituto dirigido por Jaqueline Peschard enfatizó que “nunca convalidó la negativa oficial a difundir informes sobre víctimas en 2011”, puesto que “dicha información es de naturaleza pública y, por tanto, el gobierno federal debe darla a conocer”
The president of Mexico’s Federal Institute of Access to Information (IFAI), Jacqueline Peschard, warned that the development and use of technology has allowed for unauthorized use of personal information. In fact, she added in a talk with a group of Mexico City lawyers, the violence of privacy is constant.
In the meeting, Peschard discussed the new Protection of Personal Information Law, stating it will have benefits to individuals and companies alike.
The head of Mexico’s Federal Institute of Access to Public Information and Information Protection (IFAI), Jaqueline Peschard, asked the federal government to provide sufficient resources to the Institute so that it can comply with the new responsibilities of protecting information.
Peschard said that transparency is irreversible in Mexico, and cannot fall prey to the “temptation to return to opacity.” It would be “very costly” to do an about-face in transparency, backtracking on two key aspects of the consolidation of democracy: access to information and protection of information.
She added that problems caused by the insecurity in the country cannot justify a lack of transparency in the management of public finances.
Peschard recently co-edited a book on Mexico’s Democratic Challenges, published by Stanford University Press and the Woodrow Wilson Press, with Mexico Institute Director Andrew Selee…
The IFAI accused the Federal Tribunal of Fiscal and Administrative Justice (TFJFA) of threatening transparency by opening the door so that federal agencies can issue orders blocking access to public information.
On Sunday Reforma published information stating that the 10th Metropolitan Regional Office of the TFJFA declared null several portions of an IFAI ruling that ordered the Attorney General (PGR) to give a citizen access to previous inquiries made against the ex-mayor of Mexico City, Rosario Robles.
Yesterday, the Tribunal authorized the Tax Administration Service (SAT) to also provisionally suspend the diffusion of the names of businesses and individuals that benefitted from the cancelation of government loans as unpayable.
Op-Ed, El Universal, 2/23/2009
Independent public agencies are, historically and by mandate, institutions created to consolidate democracy, guarantee fundamental rights, regulate the relationship between the state and its citizens, generate accountability, and create checks and balances to guard against the abuse of power. The Federal Electoral Institute (IFE), the National Commission on Human Rights (CNDH), the Federal Institute for the Access to Public Information (IFAI), the Bank of Mexico and the National Institute for Statistics and Geography (INEGI), as a group and each in its own field, represent institutions of and for democracy, even if they have not always honored their mission.
In November, the Senate will exercise its role as the elector of the leaders of these agencies, including the head of the Bank of Mexico and of CNDH. The outlook is gloomy. The probability of squandering, through party quotas and shady proceedings is high.
The governability and future of Mexico require the strengthening of the Supreme Court, Bank of Mexico and CNDH so that they can perform their duties with autonomy and legitimacy.
Mexico Institute, 1/22/2009
Ana Maria Salazar, host of “Imagen News” and former Policy Advisor for President Clinton’s Special Envoy for the Americas, maintains an excellent blog on Mexican politics. Mexico Today‘s news summary includes includes INEGI’s statistic that Mexican unemployment is at its worst since 2000, that the IFAI does not have information about Elba Ester Gordillo’s salary because the law does not cover unions, and that Congress will begin debating the death penalty.
Jonathan Fox, Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies, Fall 2008
Mexico’s laws and official political discourse now emphasize transparency. Citizens’ “right to know” is assumed to encourage more accountable governance. But what difference have these reforms made in practice, and how do we know?
After the historic presidential elections in 2000, the momentum for institutional change quickly stalled. Once incoming president Vicente Fox proved unable to assemble a working majority in Congress, the “reform of the state” dropped off his list of priorities. National regulatory agencies remained weak and ineffective. Impunity for human rights violations persisted.
Against this backdrop, which can be described more as regime transition than state transformation, Mexico’s public information access reform stands out as the most clear-cut qualitative break with past patterns of national governance since the end of one-party rule.