candal-plagued Brazil may appear to be descending into political chaos, but Mexicans look on with envy as Latin America’s other big economy prosecutes high-ranking officials. They wonder: “Why can’t we do that here?”
Mexicans are fed up with corruption, and public officials rank high as a reason. Seven in 10 Mexicans consider the public sector more corrupt than the private sector, 83 percent don’t trust legislators, and 91 percent don’t trust political parties. It’s not hard to see why when considering that 98 percent of corruption-related crimes go unpunished in the country. The time is ripe for Mexico to demonstrate a commitment to accountability.
Last week the country’s Congress had the chance to do just that, but fell short, choosing instead to let the clock run out on the regular legislative session without approving a package of laws needed to implement a National Anticorruption System.
One of the bills in that package proved particularly thorny; the citizen initiative known as Ley 3de3 (“three-out-of-three law”) would require public officials to publicly declare assets, conflicts of interests, and tax returns. It also defines 10 types of corruption, along with punishments to match.