Mexico Misses Its Deadline on Its Anticorruption Program: The Best Laid Plans of Graft and Men

There were grandiose plans. A full anticorruption effort complete with anticorruption prosecutor, 18 judges to hear corruption cases, and all within one year. Here we are, one year later, and the deadline has come and gone. Lawmakers could not agree on who should be the anticorruption prosecutor. The Senate failed to appoint any of the 18 anticorruption judges. And nearly one-half of the 32 Mexican have not passed any of the local regulations that were to also be part of the effort. Juan Montes, “Mexican Antigraft Efforts Falter,” Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2017, p. A18. https://www.wsj.com/articles/mexicos-anticorruption-efforts-stall-1500483099

The backdrop for all of this planned, albeit unexecuted activity, is that the U.S. will be demanding anticorruption provisions as part of the renegotiation of NAFTA. And, the fact that graft costs the Mexican economy $50 billion annually in lost output (according to the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness) did provide some motivation.

The movement for change started in 2014 when Presidente Pena Nieto had the embarrassing problem of his wife and finance minister purchasing homes on credit from a government contractor, a contractor with a close relationship with el Presidente. Small wonder that 82% of Mexicans believe the current party in charge is corrupt. No one in it is willing to create, implement, or enforce anticorruption laws. There are 352 graft cases, dating back to 2003, awaiting trial in the Senate, and they are taken in chronological order. Former President Javier Duarte, who left office when state auditors found a one-half billion dollar hole in the country’s coffers in 2015, has a long wait for his trial. And without a prosecutor and judges, well, without trials, the corruption might as well just sally forth.

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD.

The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards.

Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader’s Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio.

She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News.

In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles.

Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.

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