By Ana Cristina Ruelas and David Mora
The authors work at ARTICLE 19, Mexico and Central America.
On April 16th, the Mexican Congress finally approved the General Transparency Law, making progress in adjusting the current legal framework to the standards ordered by the Constitutional reform approved in February 2014. The final text did not include any key change from what the Senate discussed and approved last month, and therefore it was later sent to the President for his final sanction.
While waiting for its publication, we think it is important to recall this whole legislation process –plenty of lessons, for the Congress, the Executive Power and Civil Society.
The Constitutional Reform
The Transparency Constitutional Reform of 2007 was proved not enough for an actual RTI guarantee: it had an exemption regime for some entities and people who receive and expend public resources such as political parties, public unions and funds; as a federation we had a huge asymmetry in each of the state transparency laws; the oversight body was not autonomous so it had limited functions which not allowed it to act independently; RTI was only for a few privileged ones and the most vulnerable communities did not know anything about this right; and the nonexistence of information was one of the most recurrent answers from the covered entities.
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