Public funds: political spoils

In 2017 alone, this legislative organism paid MXN $3,812,799,826 million in salaries and benefits, distributed among 6,644 employees

Public funds: political spoils
Javier Duarte was sentenced to 9 years in prison, he was accused of mismanaging public funds – Photo: Luis Cortes/EL UNIVERSAL
English 27/09/2018 09:10 Mexico City Newspaper Leader Actualizada 09:11
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Wastefulness and abuses of public funds, carried out by the political class, have become more evident as time goes by. At present time, it's an everyday occurrence to learn about the diversion of funds and frauds in regards to public funds, in every government level, among those in power. The diagnosis is that corruption is the main evil in our country, which is fully supported by the reality we live in.

In the Mexican political tradition, the public positions and budgets are usually seen as political spoils by the parties or those in power. Therefore, without strong rules and institutions, it's possible to carry out any kind of arbitrariness in regards to the Mexicans' wealth. In the end, the lack of consequences and procedures to punish those crimes prompts impunity to become a vicious cycle.

Today, EL UNIVERSAL reveals that Morena's parliamentary group, the majority in Congress, uncovered that the main political parties, those who had a larger representation in the previous Legislature, distributed the numerous resources from the 2017 legislative budget, among themselves.

According to this investigation, half of the total 2017 Congress's budget was destined to pay the bureaucracy's salaries. In 2017 alone, this legislative organism paid MXN $3,812,799,826 million in salaries and benefits, distributed among 6,644 employees. Yet MXN $102 million were distributed among 617 public servants, which represents salaries that are beyond what most of the Mexican workforce earns. Nevertheless, and despite these numbers, the wastefulness continued in 2018.

Just as calculations carried out by experts show, the Mexican Congress is among the 5th most expensive congresses in the world, trailing behind countries like the U.S. There are public testimonies about the way in which the money is usually spent inside federal legislative offices in our country. In each case, the conclusions reveal the need to reevaluate the way in which public funds are spent, but especially the way in which public assets are taken over.

It's essential to stop the abuses over the national wealth, using the proper legal measures, but the truth is that despite these efforts, said abuses take place in the obscurity of processes, paperwork processes, and legal loopholes all over the country, in every legislative corner, in administrative bureaucracies. The answer, in the short term, is austerity in the use of public funds, but the long-term vision forces us to build institutions and accountability processes to stop those who still see public funds as spoils.


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