Speech by the head of the Citizen Participation Committee of the Yucatan State Anti-Corruption System (SEAY)

Corruption is a phenomenon that is not exclusive to our country. It is an evil that permeates all societies and all corners of the earth. But in Mexico, there is a citizen’s clamor for sufficiency…

Hello! Thank you very much for joining us today! On behalf of my colleagues in the Citizen Participation Committee and the Executive Secretariat of the Yucatan State Anti-Corruption System, I thank you for joining me today at the opening of our second edition Anti-Corruption Week. We will dedicate a week to promoting, through different activities, conferences, and talks, an anti-corruption culture in our society.
This week, we have organized it in the International Day of Fight framework against Corruption that we commemorate this Wednesday, December 9.

Corruption is a phenomenon that is not exclusive to our country. It is an evil that permeates all societies and all corners of the earth. But in Mexico, there is a citizen’s clamor for sufficiency. A fed-up society that is forged in every part of our history overflows with flagrant cases of diversion of resources, or privileges of a few and most pitiful, of rampant impunity.

Our current President of the Republic offered firmly in his campaign to fight against Corruption if he won the presidency. He even went so far as to say that our country’s Corruption would end on December 1, 2018, when he took office. As if by decree and with his example ahead of him.
Currently, we see how he has resorted to his platform of mornings to promote a discourse that the corrupt are others, those of past governments or businessmen or “fifis,” and day by day, what we Mexicans experience is a reality that is far from that discourse.

The use and abuse of direct awards as a method of government contracting is one of the problems that opens more possibilities for the waste of resources, traffic of influences, and, in general, for Corruption and impunity. This is what Mexicans report on Corruption and Impunity after an analysis of the Compranet database. It is clear that as of July of this year, 77.2% of contracts have been awarded directly by this means. Compadrazgo and nepotism are still incredibly present.

We live today in a Mexico where the institutions and safeguards that protect our citizens are gradually crumbling, giving way to the violation of our most precious rights, such as the presumption of innocence and due process.

Despite this, in Yucatan, two years after the Coordinating Committee’s installation and the opening of the Executive Secretariat of the State Anti-Corruption System, we have taken essential steps in the scaffolding of a genuinely collaborative system. We approved and launched the Complaint Mechanism, a citizen’s window to attend to people and organizations that have been victims or witnesses of possible acts of Corruption or administrative misconduct among public servants.

We have attended to 50 complaints and oriented more than 250 citizens. We have signed 28 collaboration agreements with Business Chambers, professional associations, higher education institutions, and non-governmental organizations; we have issued eight public recommendations for obligated entities, among which I would like to highlight the recommendation to the State Government regarding the urgency of presenting Congress with real reform of the Acquisition Law, which is now more than 30 years old and is still pending.

Likewise, this week we will be taking another important step with the delivery for analysis and subsequent approval of the SEAY Coordinating Committee, the State Anti-Corruption Policy, which will mark the way forward for the following years on the priority actions to be taken in this area.

We also recognize, within the State, fundamental advances in actions that contribute to the fight against Corruption. In January of this year, the Public Prosecutor’s Office’s autonomy specialized in the fight against Corruption materialized. Yucatán has been placed among the first three places in the national ranking of the Index of Transparency and Availability of Fiscal Information of Federal entities, as well as having obtained zero observations from the Federal Superior Audit Office on its second annual report of the 2019 fiscal year regarding the fiscalization in the area of Financial Discipline.

Likewise, Merida’s municipality recently positioned itself once again among the first places in the ranking of municipalities and mayoralties that participated in the Results-Based Budget Diagnosis and the 2020 Performance Evaluation System, carried out by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, just to mention a few.

However, in the Citizen Participation Committee, we are very aware that we have a long way to go. We know that there are situations that are worrying citizens, manifested in the media, and social networks that must be followed up and MUST be addressed. We listen to them, we read them, and we are working on it. But this will NOT bear fruit without YOUR commitment and YOUR participation.

No, Corruption and impunity will not end by decree. It does not end because they repeat it to us in the morning speech or share photos of activities on social networks every day. Nor does it end because we already have a National and State Anti-Corruption System. The ONLY way we can make a real difference is if we do our part if we start thinking that the common good is more important than personal privilege.

This week, we will be talking with the Coordinating Committee members about transparency as a critical element in the fight against Corruption through the activities we have prepared. We will be sharing successful experiences of social comptrollerships in our communities to contribute to social programs’ efficient and effective performance. We will be talking about public servants’ administrative responsibility, discussing public integrity and strengthening city councils, and business people about the incorporation of integrity programs in their organizations. We will have the master conferences of Dr. Maria Amparo Casar of Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity and Dr. Max Keiser of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness.

We will have the presentation of the proposals of the 19 young people who have worked hard this weekend in the edition “Fight Against Corruption,” and we will close the week with the recognition of children and people who join to promote the anti-corruption culture through drawings, comics, and honor of our anti-corruption heroes.

As you will see, all of us must join efforts, be that hard-working, honest, and supportive Mexican that always comes to light in times of national crisis such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and the current pandemic. Today, we are ALL in a crisis of Corruption, and we need you to get involved, commit yourself to your daily actions from the environment you are in, and achieve together that real transformation.

For our part, as a Citizens’ Committee representing citizens, we will continue with effort and dedication to promoting the consolidation of the Anti-Corruption System as an effective body that takes firm steps to effectively combat Corruption and to fight impunity with vehemence. As citizens embedded in this system, we will push hard for the Coordinating Committee to put on its decisive table actions to pursue the anti-corruption culture that we all want.

I would like to close my remarks today with the words of Robert Kennedy, who said, “Every time we turn our heads away when we see the law being flouted; when we tolerate what we know is wrong; when we close our eyes and ears to Corruption because we are too busy or too scared; when we fail to raise our voices and speak out, we strike a blow against freedom, decency, and justice.

Today, I invite you to join me in raising our voice together.
Thank you very much.



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