Coparmex members meeting in Tijuana Coparmex members meeting in Tijuana. zeta tijuana/Francisco Navarro

Coparmex vs congress: businesses are ticked

Lawmakers 'turned their backs on Mexicans' by failing to approve anti-corruption bills

An influential association of Mexican business owners is going after Congress for its “irresponsibility” in failing to pass anti-corruption legislation according to the deadline it had set.

Coparmex, the 36,000-member Mexican Employers’ Association, will launch a national and international campaign after legislators “turned their backs on the Mexican people” in not approving a new National Anti-Corruption System.

The organization says that legislators violated the constitution and did not adhere to the legal May 28 deadline they created for approving the legislation, deciding instead to postpone the discussion until next month.

“With this posture [legislators] are openly turning their backs on the Mexican people who are demanding an end to corruption, impunity and opacity,” said Coparmex national president Gustavo de Hoyos Walther, who cited an anti-corruption citizens’ initiative that garnered more than 600,000 signatures. “It seems that the first ones to violate the law in Mexico are those mandated to create them, the legislators.”

“If politicians are hesitant to commit to transparency and accountability, they should assume the consequences at the ballot boxes. That is why [the campaign] will begin in the states holding elections June 5,” he added.

“What grieves us most is the collegial manner in which they decided to violate the law . . . .” De Hoyos charged that Senators and Deputies made the decision simply to serve their own interests.

On the international stage, the employers’ association will address the legislators’ inaction before “international bodies and allied organizations, denouncing the system of privilege and impunity that [lawmakers] are perpetuating.”

Such organizations include the anti-corruption committees of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ibero American Anti-Corruption Business Forum and the Ibero American Business Council.

For de Hoyos, Mexico has great growth and development potential but a major obstacle is the institutional weakness caused by corrupt legal, justice and penal systems.

“A great part of our political class, far from being aware of the insecurity, injustice, corruption and poverty issues, perpetuate their own illegitimate enrichment by means of public funds. In some cases, their petty corruption cost people their lives, especially the most poor and vulnerable,” de Hoyos stated.

“. . . In this climate of corruption and impunity the lack of civic commitment by the legislative branch of government is a great example of cynicism.”

He also said the situation is a source of concern to both national and international investors.

Meeting this week in Tijuana, the Coparmex representatives called their campaign announcement the Tijuana Declaration.

Source: Reforma (sp), Radio Fórmula (sp)

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