Mexico pushes through transparency reform

Mexico pushes through transparency reform

Last Friday, Mexico enacted its new transparency reform. In a country which scored 34 out of 100 in Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, this amendment to the constitution is a welcome change and will enhance the system through which people access public information.

Our national chapter in Mexico, Transparencia Mexicana, participated in the consultation process leading up to this reform. Together with other civil society organisations, it also engaged in conversations with legislators as well as citizens to ensure that the reform moved ahead amid some resistance.

Why access to information matters

Information is fundamental for making informed decisions. When it is not accessible, corruption can thrive and basic rights might not be realised. When citizens’ right to know is denied, they cannot hold their elected politicians or decision-makers to account for their actions.

Ensuring the disclosure of – and access to – information empowers people and institutions to prevent and fight corruption. Governments must proactively release information about what they do and citizens must proactively utilise it in order to make full use of their rights.

Access-to-information laws are vital for transparency and a key safeguard against corruption. Over 90 countries have passed access to information legislation in the past 15 years, but implementation is patchy. Millions of people still don’t know about these laws or how to use them to their advantage.

What does it actually mean?

Some of the main points of the reform:

Below is an infographic (in Spanish), prepared by Arena Ciudadana, Transparencia Mexicana and Akora, outlining the key changes that the reform will bring:

 

What’s next?

These are the next steps for fully implementing the transparency reform:

For a full timeline of past and upcoming milestones in the transparency reform (in Spanish), click here.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

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