How Mexico’s Anti-Corruption Fight Went Off-Track

09/18/2017 Americas Quarterly

By Viridiana Rios, Mexico Institute Global Fellow

Eighteen months ago, I wrote in AQ about the success of Mexico’s citizen-driven corruption fight in Congress. Civil society groups, academics and activists had pushed for the rejection of a watered-down anti-corruption bill and instead presented their own, sharpened version of the legislation. This citizen’s bill, called #Ley3de3 (or #Law3of3) promised not only to help identify, punish and prevent corruption, but to do so while promoting collaboration among different federal institutions and citizen groups.

Congress agreed to discuss the bill only after 634,000 citizens signed their support, and approved it only after trying several times to reduce its scope. Passage of the #Ley3de3 thus marked one of the most important breakthroughs for Mexico’s civil society since democratization began in the late nineties.

All of us who were part of this effort knew that it was a first step, but were sure that many more would follow. Little did we know how resistant to outside pressure – from civil society, the media and others – the government would prove to be when it came to cleaning up its act.

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How Mexico’s Anti-Corruption Fight Went Off-Track

9/18/2017 Americas Quarterly

More than a year after a major civil society victory, Mexico’s government has yet to clean up its act.

Eighteen months ago, I wrote in AQ about the success of Mexico’s citizen-driven corruption fight in Congress. Civil society groups, academics and activists had pushed for the rejection of a watered-down anti-corruption bill and instead presented their own, sharpened version of the legislation. This citizen’s bill, called #Ley3de3 (or #Law3of3) promised not only to help identify, punish and prevent corruption, but to do so while promoting collaboration among different federal institutions and citizen groups.

Congress agreed to discuss the bill only after 634,000 citizens signed their support, and approved it only after trying several times to reduce its scope. Passage of the #Ley3de3 thus marked one of the most important breakthroughs for Mexico’s civil society since democratization began in the late nineties.

Read more…

Panama authorizes extradition of former Mexican governor on corruption charges

9/18/2017 Reuters

Panama has agreed to extradite a former state governor from Mexico’s ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) who is wanted in his homeland on corruption charges, the two countries said on Monday.

Roberto Borge, who from 2010 to 2016 was governor of the state of Quintana Roo, home to the tourist resort Cancun, was detained in Panama City airport in June with the aid of Interpol as he was preparing to board a flight to Paris.

Corruption promises to be one of the major issues in Mexico’s July 2018 presidential election, with public discontent widespread over a spate of conflict-of-interest rows that have dogged the Cabinet and President Enrique Pena Nieto himself.

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As Mexico Earthquake Aid Mounts, Many Fear It Will Be Diverted

09/11/2017 New York Times

Brett Gundlock for The New York Times

JUCHITÁN DE ZARAGOZA, Mexico — Concepción Rueda Gomes has been collecting food and supplies since Mexico’s strongest earthquake in living memory struck her hometown, Juchitán, last week. But when it came time to distributing the aid she turned to private agencies for help.

“There was no way I was going to give away the help we raised to some local official or leader so he can just hand them out to his friends and family,” Ms. Rueda, 50, a jewelry designer, said at her home in Juchitán, where volunteers were loading up three trucks with food, water and blankets.

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Mexican agency finds irregularities in Pemex, Odebrecht contract

09/11/2017 Reuters

Mexico’s top anti-corruption agency said on Monday it had identified 119 million pesos ($6.7 million) in “new irregularities” from a contract between state oil company Pemex and Odebrecht, the Brazilian engineering firm that has admitted paying bribes in a dozen countries in recent years.

Mexico’s Public Administration Ministry (SFP), the government’s main anti-corruption auditor, said in a statement that the contract was for work at Pemex’s second biggest refinery, the Miguel Hidalgo facility in Tula, Hidalgo state and involved an unnamed employee of the national oil company.

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THREE YEARS AFTER 43 STUDENTS DISAPPEARED IN MEXICO, A NEW VISUALIZATION REVEALS THE CRACKS IN THE GOVERNMENT’S STORY

09/07/2017 The Intercept 

Oaxaca por Ayotzinapa
http://www.montecruzfoto.org

(The Intercept) – THE MEXICAN GOVERNMENT’S story goes like this: On the night of September 26, 2014, roughly 100 students from Ayotzinapa, a rural teaching college, clashed with municipal police in the city of Iguala, in the southern state of Guerrero. Rocks were thrown, shots were fired, and 43 students were snatched up by the authorities and handed over to a local drug gang. The students were then driven to a garbage dump where they were murdered, burned to ash, and tossed into a river, never to be seen again. This, Mexico’s attorney general once said, was “the historical truth.”

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Mexico says investigating fraud claims made in media report

09/05/2017 Reuters

corruptionMEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Mexico’s federal comptroller general’s office on Monday said 10 public servants at three federal agencies faced non-criminal penalties as part of an ongoing investigation into funds allegedly channeled by the government to phantom companies.

The comptroller released the statement about its investigation following a report jointly published by anti-graft group Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity (MCCI) and online news portal Animal Politico.

That MCCI and Animal Politico report, released earlier on Monday, followed their own investigations and said 11 federal ministries and agencies signed agreements with public universities who contracted services totaling 7.670 billion Mexican pesos ($429 million). Some 3.4 billion Mexican pesos had been paid to phantom companies, the report said.

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