The key to end corruption
Corruption is one of the most serious problems affecting Mexico - Photo: Edgar Garrido/REUTERS

The key to end corruption

30/01/2019
08:55
Mexico City
Editorial
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The results presented by International Transparency in regards to the Corruption Perception Index confirm the suspicion: the problem worsened in the last years

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Andrés Manuel López Obrador's government has committed to reverting and tackling corruption in Mexico; nevertheless, the task might be much more complicated than it seems. The results presented by International Transparency in the Corruption Perception Index confirms the suspicion: the problem worsened in the last years.

In 2018, Mexico was in the 138th place, out of 180 countries on the list, at the same level as countries facing democratic governability issues. In Latin America, Mexico is among the last three places, just above Guatemala and Nicaragua. Chile, the best-evaluated country in the region, is 111 places away from Mexico. At the beginning of the previous administration in 2012, Mexico was placed in the 106th place but six years later, it plunged 32 positions.

The fight against corruption was part of the Pact for Mexico, an agreement between several political parties and the previous administration to promote structural reforms but it never fully materialized, despite being established as one “of the most heartfelt demands by society and a need to build a more efficient government that achieves better results.”

The original project promoted the creation of the National Anti-corruption Commission, which had a limited scope of action. Back then, society pushed for a broader proposal, the creation of the National Anti-corruption System, although until this day, it still doesn't operate as it was supposed to.

Any attempt to have a transparent government and the correct management of public resources failed after several corruption cases were revealed during the previous administration: Javier Duarte, Roberto Borge, César Duarte, the cancellation of the México-Querétaro train, Odebrecht, the sinkhole in Cuernavaca, the Master Fraud. Many of these cases haven't been solved yet.

Yesterday, President López Obrador said that corruption takes place inside the government, “in the power elite, not among people.” The most public cases back his affirmation but it's necessary to admit that actions carried out by the population reflect an early stage of corruption, such as bribes to police officers after a transit offense or when companies bribe officials to speed bureaucratic procedures.

The government will have to work in many areas at the same time in order to eradicate or diminish corruption. Controls inside public administration and the consolidation of transparency in the government are measures that have to be strengthened but they won't be as important as achieving that those who misuse public resources are punished. Zero impunity, that can be the key factor to change Mexico's prospect.

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