Hostages of the Congress

The lack of agreements at the Congress in appointing key positions is crippling Mexico's law enforcement system

Chamber of Deputies in San Lázaro - File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 13/12/2017 07:57 Mexico City Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL Actualizada 08:08
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Effective law enforcement is one of the pending issues in Mexico, a perception which seems not to matter much to the Legislative Branch, considering the heads of the Mexican Office of the Attorney General (PGR) and the Specialized Attorney's Office against Electoral Crimes (FEPADE) haven't been appointed due to a lack of consensus in nominating the candidates.

As EL UNIVERSAL publishes today, it seems the year will end with at least four vital institutions leaderless: the Offices mentioned above, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office, and the Superior Audit Office of Mexico.

The political parties in Congress are shielding behind the argument of seeking candidates “through consensus, not a majority”. There is no doubt this is a necessary condition as the ones who will be appointed will need the support of all parties to act with the autonomy required by their posts; however, the problem comes when all it seems to matter to the legislators is the electoral agenda and not a true interest in selecting the adequate candidates.

Similarly to the election of the Auditor General, there is no agreement on the appointment of the magistrates of the Federal Court of Administrative Justice, specializing in anti-corruption crimes. Mexico needs agreements so the institutions can operate appropriately, beyond any existing differences over the electoral process.

The country has had some progress in the creation of autonomous institutions, such as the National Human Rights Commission, and with the implementation of laws like the one on transparency, nevertheless, it is falling behind in issues such as the fight against corruption. The diagram for the National Anti-Corruption System is currently incomplete given the lack of appointments to key charges the Legislative Branch needs to decide on.

This paralysis – deliberate or unintentional – in which the legislators are falling has already made the Ministers of the Supreme Court of Justice demand to both Chambers to issue the Statutory Law on official expenditure for social communication, which had fallen into oblivion 10 years ago.

Law enforcement institutions must not be hostages of the legislative apathy and the failure in reaching agreements – we have at stake the stability of the 2018 electoral process.


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