The Decree amending the Mexican Federal Constitution on anticorruption matters was published today. The creation of the National Anticorruption System sets the bases for new anticorruption legislation and new rules both for public officers and private parties. The afternoon edition of the Official Gazette of the Federal Government ("DOF") of even date hereof, features the Decree amending the Mexican Federal Constitution on anticorruption matters (the "Decree") . Even though the Decree partially comes into force the day following its publication in the DOF, the relevant provisions relating to aggravated administrative offenses of both public officers and private individuals and entities, as well as the creation of the National Anticorruption System (Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción) shall enter into force once the national statutes (leyes generales) on this matter are issued by Congress, during the course of next year.
The corruption phenomenon has been an issue in the national political agenda for several years now. In this respect, on June 12, 2012 the Federal Anticorruption in Public Contracts Act was published in the DOF. Such legislation was a response to the corruption scandals that at such time became publicly known because of the proceedings conducted in other jurisdictions pursuant to their anticorruption laws (as an example, proceedings involving Pemex, the Federal Electricity Commission and the Mexican Social Security Institute in the United Stated pursuant to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act).
Likewise, Mexico is party to several international treaties on anticorruption matters1 and has included in its legislation several provisions aimed at fighting corruption, such as the aforementioned Federal Anticorruption in Public Contracts Act, the Federal Criminal Code (which specifies as a criminal offenses certain acts of corruption, such as corrupt influence (tráfico de influencias) and bribery (cohecho) both to national and foreign public officers), and the Federal Public Officers' Liabilities Act.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, recent acts of corruption and conflicts of interest involving public officers, civilians and private entities have evidenced that the legal and institutional anticorruption framework in Mexico is far from adequate. In his speech of enactment of the Decree, the Executive stated that the Anticorruption Index of Transparency International puts Mexico in place 103 among 175 countries and that, in...