Mexico and Its Achilles’ Heel


The magazine Americas Quarterly published a top five of anticorruption leaders in Latin America.

Why can’t Mexico run away from corruption, its worst weakness as a country?

There has been many initiatives, some real intentions to finish with the corruption or fight against it effectively; but until now they remain just intentions.

The studies reveal that Mexicans are immersed in a kind of vicious circle; as the citizens and the businessmen consider that the government is the problem, while the government says that the problem includes businessmen and citizens.

Nobody wants to make a step back in those affirmations.

However, there is something interesting: all countries have corruption; the problem in Mexico is that there are no effective programs against it.

Mexico does not have effective anticorruption leaders,
as other countries in Latin America.

Who is responsible for that? Yes, the citizens and businessmen, but mostly the government, specifically the judicial system. Mexico needs better laws to face the corruption, but also needs for those laws to be in effect.

In my article “The Saying that Challenges All Mexicans” about the study of the Mexican Institute of Competitiveness (IMCO, in Spanish), I exposed three conclusions and two possible positive results.

What can Mexico do? The experts suggest:

  • Strengthen the National Anticorruption System (SNA, in Spanish).
  • Give professional status to the state police departments.
  • Associate the unique national ID with biometric data.

If the Mexican Government applies these suggestions, it will send two messages to the citizens:

  • The corrupted public servants will be punished; then they will think twice before committing these illegal activities.
  • The citizens will trust more in their institutions; they will stop to believe that the only way to advance is by being corrupted.

The study of the IMCO was published three months ago, but until now, the Mexican government is not doing anything.

Well, before of the study, in May of 2015, the Presidency promulgated the constitutional reforms for the National Anticorruption System. But now the Congress has to approve the secondary laws; those are the small letters; the real structure of the system. The deadline is in May of this year.

The magazine Americas Quarterly published the article “Corruption Busters”, it is a top five list of the men and women and their successful work in Brazil, Chile, Guatemala and Peru.

Sérgio Moro, a Brazilian judge, is considered a star for different cases.

“He pried the lid off a far-reaching graft scheme that had siphoned more than $3 billion from the state-run oil firm into the wallets of high-profile officials and political parties”, wrote the journalist Matias Spektor.

Iván Velásquez born in Colombia, but the Guatemalan loves him, because he was one of the prosecutors that “caused the resignation and imprisonment of a sitting Guatemalan president (Otto Pérez)… (And) as the head of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), he was charged with investigating criminal rings that have long dominated parts of the country”, explained the article written by Brian Winter.

The Peruvian José Ugaz “has made a career out of toppling corrupt officials” says the magazine. “The Peruvian jurist who led corruption investigations of former president Alberto Fujimori is now shaking things up as the global chair of Transparency International”, wrote Mitra Taj.

Thelma Aldana was part of the group to put the Guatemalan president, Otto Pérez, in jail and she “did remarkable work rallying Guatemalan society, including her fellow prosecutors, behind the belief that a new era has dawned”, explained Brian Winter.

The list includes also the Mexican Viridiana Rios. She works at IMCO, where she helped “create the anticorruptómetro — a Web page and social media campaign that tracks state legislative action on the reforms”, wrote Danielle Renwick.

The work of Rios is important, but we have to say that doesn’t have comparison with the success cases in Guatemala, for example, where a president had to quit for a case against him. Of course, Rios is not a prosecutor. That is what Mexico doesn’t have yet; anticorruption leaders.

Until now, the Presidency has been sending the message that the corrupted actions don’t have consequences, and I can mention the President Enrique Peña Nieto himself and the First Lady Angelica Rivera, whose “White House”, valued in more than seven million dollars, whish was a kind of payment of HIGA group for the tender of the train Mexico City-Queretaro, as Aristegui Noticias published.

The situation in Mexico is worse year after year, local and foreign studies alert about the corruption in the country, the second economy most important in Latin America.

The good news is that now the businessmen are really worried. The president of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE, in Spanish), Juan Pablo Castañón, begged the Senate to put in effect programs to face the corruption, because they don’t want just media scandals and big unviable plans to face the situation.

They are right! Mexico needs effective actions, and more guilty people into jail… not just good intentions.


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