Bermuda Post

Friday, Jul 19, 2024

Mexico’s Lopez Obrador backs plan to shutter transparency office

Mexico’s Lopez Obrador backs plan to shutter transparency office

The Mexican president has renewed calls for the independent transparency agency to be folded into other government offices.

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called for an end to the agency that oversees government transparency and freedom of information, in what critics consider his latest attempt to limit oversight.

After recovering from a third COVID infection, López Obrador resumed his practice of morning press conferences on Friday, where he backed a plan proposed by his political party to shutter the Institute for Information Access and Transparency (INAI).

“Let the federal comptroller’s office, which belongs to another branch of government, the legislative branch, take over this function and let this agency disappear. Enough playing with appearances,” he said, adding that INAI’s dissolution would save taxpayer money.

Mexico created its freedom of information system in 2002 – laying the groundwork for INAI – and a constitutional reform in 2013 granted the agency autonomy to ensure it can provide transparency without interference.

INAI holds the power to compel other government bodies to submit to freedom of information requests as part of the government’s checks against corruption. But INAI has been in crisis recently, as appointments to its seven-member governing body have been stymied by the ruling party, called the National Regeneration Movement or Morena.

INAI needs at least five members to form a quorum. Currently, it has only four, leaving the institute unable to issue official decisions.

Protesters pin banners in support of INAI, Mexico’s transparency agency, on April 28

Late on Thursday, Mexico’s Senate once again failed to appoint a fifth member to the agency, amid opposition from the Morena policy.

The deadlock briefly prompted a scuffle on the chamber floor as opposition legislators unfurled banners at the Senate podium calling for immediate appointments to INAI. The Associated Press reported that Morena Senator César Cravioto was seen slapping away hands in an attempt to wrestle the banners away.

Also on Thursday, the president of the Senate, Morena ally Alejandro Armenta Mier, introduced an initiative to get rid of the agency altogether, folding it into the government’s civil service functions.

The opposition has already promised to block the bill, which needs a two-thirds majority to be approved.

López Obrador has long criticised INAI, denouncing it as a waste of government funds. Last month, he vetoed two new INAI appointees, preventing it from reaching the minimum of five members it needs to function.

Demonstrators gather outside Mexico’s Senate to show their support for INAI after President Andrés Manuel López Obrador threatened to shutter the agency on April 28

He has also been critical of the country’s judicial system for blocking his policies, saying it is “eclipsed by money, by economic power”. He supported a controversial bill in February to slash the budget for Mexico’s electoral agency and weaken campaign spending oversight.

That stance has earned López Obrador criticism for dismantling democratic safeguards.

In 2021, when the president announced plans to eliminate INAI, Human Rights Watch issued a statement blasting the proposal.

“Shuttering this independent body and transferring its functions to entities that report to the executive or Congress is the perfect recipe for secrecy and abuse,” the right group’s Americas director said at the time.


Related Articles

Bermuda Post
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Steve Jobs' Son Launches Venture Capital Firm With $200 Million For Cancer Treatments
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
Google reshuffles Assistant unit, lays off some staffers, to 'supercharge' products with A.I.
End of Viagra? FDA approved a gel against erectile dysfunction
UK sanctions Russians judges over dual British national Kara-Murza's trial
US restricts visa-free travel for Hungarian passport holders because of security concerns
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Political leader from South Africa, Julius Malema, led violent racist chants at a massive rally on Saturday
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Spanish Citizenship Granted to Iranian chess player who removed hijab
US Senate Republican Mitch McConnell freezes up, leaves press conference
Speaker McCarthy says the United States House of Representatives is getting ready to impeach Joe Biden.
San Francisco car crash
This camera man is a genius
3D ad in front of Burj Khalifa
Next level gaming
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to
'I just lost it' Lowe’s worker fired after 13 years of employment for confronting thieves trying to steal $2K of merchandise
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin