17 May 2023.
The lead oversight body for access to information in Mexico, the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Personal Data Protection (INAI), is currently unable to function because the Mexican President and Senate have refused to appoint new commissioners, so that the body currently lacks the quorum required to operate. Over 70 organisations and individuals from around the world have written a letter to the members of the relevant Senate Committee to urge them to move forward immediately to appoint new INAI commissioners.
“The failure to appoint these commissioners, even though the process was initiated well over a year ago, represents a pointed attack on democracy”, said Toby Mendel, Executive Director of CLD. “The Mexican President and the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party, which he founded, have made no secret of their dislike of democratic institutions like INAI, but to disable this body by refusing to appoint commissioners represents a real low.”
INAI commissioners are appointed by the Senate but the President can “oppose the appointment”, albeit subject to an eventual override by the Senate. Although the process to replace two retiring commissioners was initiated in January 2022, the Senate only made appointments more than a year later, in March 2023. These were then vetoed by the President and no further appointments have been made since then. When another commissioner retired on 1 April 2023, INAI fell below the quorum it needs to conduct its business.
The joint letter highlights the crucial role played by INAI in supporting the right to information in Mexico, as well as the need for the Senate to use its power to replace the commissioners who have retired.
The letter is available in English and Spanish here.
For further information, please contact:
Centre for Law and Democracy
+1 902 431-3686