· Today, Mexicans feel hurt by corruption, he said.
· He recalled that in November 2014, the information released on the so-called White House caused outrage.
· This affair, “Showed me that public servants, as well as being responsible for acting in accordance with the law and with integrity, are also responsible for the perception we create about what we do, and in this I admit that I made a mistake”.
· Although I acted within the law, this mistake affected my family, damaged the image of the presidency and dented confidence in the government. I felt Mexicans’ irritation firsthand. I understand it perfectly. And so I humbly ask your forgiveness, he said.
As he enacted the National Anticorruption System laws today, President Enrique Peña Nieto said that this, “Represents a paradigm shift that provides the country with new instruments to strengthen integrity in public service and eradicate corruption”.
After declaring that, “Today, Mexicans feel hurt by corruption”, the president said that, “Every day, largely thanks to the new information technologies and freedom of expression, society learns of acts of corruption by public officials and private individuals”.
He said: “If we wish to restore public confidence, we must all be self-critical, we must look at ourselves in the mirror, starting with the president himself”.
He recalled that in November 2014, the information released on the so-called White House caused outrage. This affair, he added, “Showed me that public servants, as well as being responsible for acting in accordance with the law and with integrity, are also responsible for the perception we create about what we do, and in this I admit that I made a mistake”.
“Although I acted within the law, this mistake affected my family, damaged the image of the presidency and dented confidence in the government. I felt Mexicans’ irritation firsthand. I understand it perfectly. And so I humbly ask your forgiveness,” he said.
After offering his sincerest apologies, “For the harm and outrage I caused,” President Peña Nieto said that as a result, “I am increasingly convinced and determined to fight corruption. Hence the importance of the national system to which I am committed, and which I will determinedly promote”.
At the event, held in the National Palace courtyard, the president said: “Corruption is a challenge of the greatest magnitude that requires action by society and institutions, and I am convinced that a solution exists”.
He explained that with the new National Anticorruption System, “We will be working to eradicate abuses by those who do not obey the law and those who damage the reputation of millions of public officials who work with integrity and honesty”.
“I am sure this system will constitute a watershed in Mexico”, he declared.
The president declared that the system we are building, “Is unique. It was created by citizens, will be chaired by citizens and will serve citizens.”
It creates strong, autonomous institutions to prevent and punish corruption. Unnecessary red tape will be eliminated, and it will ensure that hiring and public works are carried out with complete transparency. Public Administration will be more integral and there will be real, effective accountability,” he added.
He explained that, “An anti-corruption prosecutor's office and specialized chambers in the Federal Court of Administrative Justice have been created to achieve this”. Likewise, the Chief Auditor’s Office of the Federation and the Public Administration Secretariat, whose director must now be confirmed by the Senate, have been strengthened”.
He said that, under the terms of the Constitution, during the next regular session of Congress, he will submit the appointment of the director of the Public Administration Secretariat for confirmation.
President Peña Nieto said that the National Anticorruption System, “Is a major transformation for the country”.
”Just as, in its time, the creation of the Federal Electoral Institute was a decisive step for our democracy, I am convinced that this system will be a step towards a new era in public administration,” he said.
He declared that on the basis of the success of the National Anticorruption System, “We will be able to restore the public’s confidence in its institutions and authorities”.
THE ENACTMENT OF THIS LAW SHOULD MARK THE BEGINNING OF A NEW STAGE THAT SHOWS THAT THINGS ARE CHANGING AND BEING DONE differently: Minister Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea
Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation Arturo Zaldívar Lelo de Larrea said that the anti-corruption laws enacted today require the country’s judges to, “Reaffirm the absolute commitment of the federal judiciary to combating corruption and impunity”.
He stressed that, “There can be no justice as long as there is corruption. There are no effective rights if there is corruption. Honor, honesty, impartiality and independence are therefore fundamental values judges must preserve every day and which, as an institution, we are committed to advancing”.
He said that, “It is necessary, in the exercise of its faculties, for the Federal Judiciary to contribute to the construction of criteria that lend unity and consistency to the enforcement of these laws.”
He said that the Judicial Branch must make a commitment to, “Join this partnership with society. We must recognize the need to strengthen ties with citizens, approach them, listen to their demands and build solutions together. This is the main lesson we must draw from the legislative process that culminates today”.
He said that, “The enactment of this set of laws must mark the start of a new stage which shows that things are changing and that things are being done differently”. Minister Lelo de Larrea hoped that, “This joint effort between government and society bears fruit and achieves its commitment to meeting the urgent demand to end this scourge”.
IN ITS DEMOCRACY AND PLURALITY, MEXICO CAN DEFEAT CORRUPTION AND reduce impunity: ROBERTO GIL ZUARTH
Chairman of the Board of the Senate Roberto Gil Zuarth, said that, “the National Anti-Corruption System meets the goal of strengthening effective accountability. But it also has an even higher purpose: regenerate the legitimacy of the democratic system, renew our covenant of trust with citizens and restore the credibility of those who serve the state”.
“In its democracy and plurality, Mexico can defeat corruption and reduce impunity. We do not need vigilantes to consolidate a genuine rule of law and rights. We need proper incentives, due process and authorities who work well,” he said.
He declared: “We undertook this reform to belie the perverse thesis that every public servant is corrupt until proven otherwise. We undertook this reform to restore dignity, honor, and trust in public administration. And this will only be possible if we transcend the idea that corruption is a problem that must be dealt with only through criminal policy, and we realize once and for all that the fight against corruption requires a comprehensive improvement of the performance of our political system”.
“Fighting corruption," he said, “is actually a commitment to good governance”. He said that the task that lies ahead, “Is to improve the quality of all our institutions, to end the colonization of power, the capitalization of what is public, and the appropriation of public assets for private gain”.
THE LAWS PASSED TODAY ARE AN IMPORTANT TOOL FOR FIGHTING CORRUPTION: JESÚS ZAMBRANO
Chairman of the Board of the Chamber of Deputies Jesús Zambrano Grijalva said that once the set of laws enacted today come into force, “They will constitute an important tool for fighting corruption. They are just the first step in building a system of integrity in the performance of public officials”.
The National Anticorruption System, he said, “Provides essential elements for achieving a special office for crimes related to acts of corruption at all three levels of government, to expand the powers of the Chief Auditor’s Office to investigate not only public authorities, but also individuals and entities that receive or spend public resources.”
He added that, “We must be a generation and a country that puts an end to corruption, assuming our responsibility with intelligence and determination, and banishing the impunity that does us enormous damage as a country and costs us a lot as a nation”.
Jesús Zambrano hailed the, “Government’s bravery in instructing the Attorney General's Office to overturn the reforms in the states of Veracruz, Quintana Roo and Chihuahua, designed to protect the governors from sanctions due to their improper acts during their administrations”. “Society,” he said, “hopes that no more atrocities are committed and that no public officials go unpunished”.
THE ANTI-CORRUPTION SYSTEM USHERS IN AN ERA OF PROFOUND TRANSFORMATION FOR THE COUNTRY’S PUBLIC LIFE: EDUARDO BOHÓRQUEZ LÓPEZ
Eduardo Bohorquez López, Executive Director of Transparencia Mexicana, who spoke at the event on behalf of civil society, acknowledged the, “Significant progress achieved through this first package of seven laws that give rise to the National Anti-Corruption System,” which usher in a stage of profound changes for the country’s public life”.
He said that as civil society, “In the coming months, in addition to ensuring the proper implementation of these seven laws, academic and civil organizations will promote a new legislative agenda”.
He said it is necessary, “To shift to a Rule of Laws, in plural; a country where rights are enforced every day; a state based on compliance with the rights of our Constitution in people’s everyday lives”.
He considered that the National Anticorruption System enacted today, “May not enable a government with scant resources to multiply them, but it can help them to be effectively used for the purposes for which they are intended”.
He congratulated the legislators who opened Congress to citizen opinions and recommendations, and said that in the task shared by society and government to fight corruption, “It is essential for the research by Mexican State institutions to be accompanied by the independent, timely and courageous criticism of the media and its contributors”.