Mexico's fight against corruption fails, report warns

Simulation and bureaucratization, among the factors behind the failure of the National Anticorruption System, reveal the research. Find out more.

Mexico's fight against corruption fails, report warns
The report reveals that simulation and bureaucratization are among the factors behind the failure of the National Anti-Corruption System. Photo by Michal Matlon / Unsplash

The Mexican National Anticorruption System (SNA) has failed due to the defective implementation of obligations and sanctions, and the bureaucratization of the body; this, according to the "Report on the Fight against Corruption in Mexico. Country Report, 2020" of the Institute for Research on Accountability and Combating Corruption (IIRCCC), attached to the University Center for Economic and Administrative Sciences (CUCEA), presented at the Enrique Diaz de Leon Auditorium.

The institute's Executive Secretary, Annel Vázquez Anderson, argued that the SNA has failed in the application of the instruments Mexico has to confront corruption.

"The fight against corruption has failed due to multiple shortcomings in the implementation of principles and legal norms to confront the phenomenon, the procrastination of obligations and functions necessary to give life to the SNA."

Among the main findings of the report is the abandonment of the public bidding procedure in government contracting, which in 2020 reported 79 percent of the public account.

"Areas of opacity and uncertainty and discretionally persist regarding the use and destination of public resources in 2020, with an excessive abandonment of the public bidding procedure," Vázquez Anderson highlighted.

In addition, public positions or posts have been limited and diminished because they do not have sufficient public controls for the entry, evaluation, and exit of those who perform public functions.

"In comparison, for example in 2005, the Professional Career Service was born with only 41,164 potential positions; by 2020 there were 20,565 fewer positions in that system, which represents only 1.3 percent of the total number of federal public positions," he reported.

There was also, said Vázquez Anderson, discretional management of the Federal Expenditure Budget. "It was handled with wide margins of discretionally from its allocation to its final presentation, including areas of frank opacity in budgetary transfers, indirect expenses, and the awarding of contracts," he concluded.

The Director of the IIRCCC, Mauricio Merino Huerta, assured that the report presented was not constructed to produce scandal, nor does it refer to specific acts of corruption, "nor is it a denunciation, it is not a lawsuit, there is no shot; what we want is that the National Anticorruption System works well, without procrastination and bureaucratic pretexts," he noted.

The General Rector of the UdeG, Dr. Ricardo Villanueva Lomelí, recognized the value of the IIRCCC's research work, which delves into the background and function to combat corruption.

"We well know that corruption is something that is designed and planned to be hidden, and the work of being able to get into the pipes, to be able to have reliable information and verify what is happening, that is the great work that the network of researchers does," he said.

The Rector of the CUCEA, Master Gustavo Padilla Montes, assured that they are convinced that scientific research has a social impact that favors and expands the generation and application of useful knowledge.

"For society, this is the value of autonomy, for academic freedom, for freedom of research, for maintaining public freedoms and, of course, the right to always tell the truth about public affairs to society," he said.

He concluded that the report raises a missing element in the fight against corruption: the consolidation of a system of weights and counterweights, autonomous and endowed with a system of effective sanctions to achieve results.

The report was built with more than one thousand requests for information for the construction of the platform on the Fight against Corruption, with 47 databases that include more than 970 thousand records for public consultation.