Anti-corruption in Mexico: check the fine print

02/25/15 Financial Times 

Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images
Yuri Cortez/AFP/Getty Images

Good news: After weeks of political gridlock, Mexico’s three main parties have agreed a framework for a new anti-corruption system. It should be put to a vote in the lower house of Congress this week. But the devil is in the details. Does it go far enough? Will it get watered down before it comes to a vote? And, the biggest question of all, will it stop corruption? The jury is out. But before taking a look about what’s good and what should be better, it is worth remembering why Mexico so urgently needs a serious anti-corruption strategy. Corruption has long been an accepted part of life in Mexico. If you start digging, you will find it, says one political analyst – much like how the missing bodies of 43 students in the state of Guerrero has turned up other undiscovered mass graves.

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The Mexican State and Anti-Corruption Efforts

By Pedro Valenzuela

Mexican State and Transparency.001The Mexico Institute charts how the Mexican State is fighting corruption. This infographic analyses Mexico’s institutions and the current debate in Congress. It also illustrates some of our recommendations:
1) Disseminate good practices to local governments.
2) Connect irregular findings to punishments.
3) Investigate corruption.
4) Improve coordination with local instances.

Mexico isn’t a gangland gunbattle

Op-ed, Shannon O’Neil, USA Today, 11/25/2012

The neighbor Americans believe they have to the south, and the Mexico that has developed over the last 20 years, are two different places. As Mexico’s incoming president Enrique Peña Nieto meets with President Obama this week, the biggest challenge facing relations today may be our skewed perceptions.

In Americans’ psyches, drugs dominate. When advertising firm GSD&M and Vianovo strategic consultants asked Americans to come up with three words that describe Mexico, nearly every other person answered “drugs,” followed by “poor” and “unsafe.” Other questions reveal Americans see Mexico as corrupt, unstable and violent, more problem than partner. Americans had more favorable views of Greece, El Salvador and Russia.

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The beginning of change [in Spanish]

Reforma, Enrique Peña Nieto, 7/16/12

Enrique Peña Nieto

In this op-ed, which was published in Reforma, Peña affirms that his party received an electoral mandate to govern Mexico, and says that he is sure that the TEPJF will rule in that manner.   He says that one of his first goals is to speak with civil society to get their input on his reforms for the nation so as to make Mexico a more democratic society, and sets out three initiatives which he wants to accomplish his first days in office.  These are: to promote the creation of a National Anti-Corruption Commission, to ensure transparency throughout all levels of government, and to create an autonomous association of citizens which can oversee media and publicity contacts made by the government so as to ensure that the people have access to the most transparent and free media possible.  He said that he and his transition team are also discussing economic which will be revealed to the Congress in time.  Finally he concludes by saying that he will respect the law, and will wait until his official confirmation as president-elect before announcing the rest of his transition team.

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