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Mexico

Capital

Mexico City

Territory

1,943,950km²

Population (2020)

128,932,753

GDP Total (2020)

1.076T USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

8,347 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

69.7
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

7th of 31 countries

Central America Ranking

65.0

2nd of 8 countries

Corruption Resilience

46.4
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

24th of 31 countries

Central America Ranking

50.3

5th of 8 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

In progress
65.3

Western Hemisphere 46.3

Central America 50.9

Standards of Conduct

In progress
66.4

Western Hemisphere 42.8

Central America 59.8

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
62.5

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Central America 62.1

Training of Public Officials

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 36.8

Central America 38.0

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

In progress
71.0

Western Hemisphere 42.3

Central America 57.0

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
42.9

Western Hemisphere 33.1

Central America 36.6

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
62.5

Western Hemisphere 47.1

Central America 65.1

Oversight Bodies

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 36.0

Central America 36.0

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 36.7

Central America 53.9

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 43.0

Central America 58.1

Study of Other Prevention Measures

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 44.9

Central America 42.9

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
63.9

Western Hemisphere 61.1

Central America 65.0

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 30.7

Central America 42.1

Scope

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 67.7

Central America 75.9

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 74.6

Central America 90.0

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

In progress
64.0

Western Hemisphere 51.9

Central America 69.8

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 58.8

Central America 55.0

Passive Public Bribery

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Central America 56.7

Active Public Bribery

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 56.4

Central America 59.1

Abuse of Functions

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 47.0

Central America 57.7

Money Laundering

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 55.8

Central America 54.2

Participation and Attempt

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 58.4

Central America 67.1

Active Foreign Bribery

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 39.0

Central America 51.7

Illicit Enrichment

In progress
62.5

Western Hemisphere 54.7

Central America 69.8

Use of State Property

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 79.5

Central America 87.6

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 52.1

Central America 62.5

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 77.6

Central America 87.6

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

Central America 33.9

Private Bribery

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 22.7

Central America 18.5

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 64.7

Central America 63.2

Obstruction of Justice

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 71.4

Central America 74.0

Liability of Legal Persons

Core-deficient
42.9

Western Hemisphere 61.3

Central America 61.0

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 79.6

Central America 87.6

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 69.5

Central America 75.5

Consequences and Compensation

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 70.3

Central America 73.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 72.2

Central America 79.2

Asset Recovery

In progress
64.0

Western Hemisphere 66.4

Central America 72.7

International cooperation

Implemented
82.2

Western Hemisphere 68.9

Central America 74.5

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 79.8

Central America 89.0

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 55.1

Central America 55.8

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 47.5

Central America 57.6

Automatic Application Without Treaty

In progress
71.0

Western Hemisphere 52.7

Central America 54.4

Prosecution Without Extradition

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 57.2

Central America 55.8

Custody

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 73.4

Central America 79.1

Assistance

Implemented
78.1

Western Hemisphere 58.0

Central America 58.9

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 84.0

Central America 98.2

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 82.6

Central America 88.0

Nature of Act

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.3

Central America 97.8

Designate Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 75.9

Central America 90.2

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.5

Central America 72.7

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.3

Central America 73.6

Special Investigative Techniques

Not Implemented
7.8

Western Hemisphere 56.9

Central America 75.7

Technical Cooperation

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 62.8

Central America 69.9

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

19961997199819992000200120022003200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

Mexico signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on May 27, 1997. It is a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2001. The country also signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 9, 2003, and subsequently ratified it on July 20, 2004. Mexico is also party to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (OECD-ABC), having signed it on December 17, 1997, and deposited the instrument of ratification on May 27, 1999. Accordingly, Mexico has undergone six rounds of review under MESICIC (of which only the first five were considered here, as the final report for the sixth round was only adopted on September 16, 2021), two round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism (of which, for comparability purposes, only the first one was considered here), and four phases of evaluation by the OECD Working Group on Bribery.

Mexico’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC, UNCAC, and OECD-ABC exhibits a number of successes and very few failures. With an overall score of 69.7, the measures adopted place the country at the upper middle point of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Cuba (69.3), Antigua and Barbuda (69.5), Brazil (69.8), and Chile (70.5). Despite achieving higher success in regard to international cooperation (as is the case throughout the region) all but one preventive measure is found to be in progress or implemented. Furthermore, contrary to the regional pattern, Mexico evidences higher performance in the implementation of measures pertaining to the prevention of corruption rather than criminalization and law enforcement. Mexico’s efforts are generally well distributed across all three sections.

The prevention of corruption is undergoing, classified as “in progress” by its average score and with only one measure found somewhat deficient—transparency in government contracting (43.0). Regarding this, among the problems identified by MESICIC during the second round and that remained largely unresolved in the fifth round, it was reported that “[although] applicants for a position in the House [of Deputies] must meet the necessary requirements and undergo the psychometric, knowledge, and skills tests required for the profile of the position in question, no kind of merit-based selection procedure is provided to fill the career staff vacancies.” A similar issue was found regarding the federal judicial branch: “there is no merit-based selection procedure for choosing persons [from the list of successful applicants] to fill vacancies”. On the other hand, prominent measures within this section are given a score above 60, including the standards of conduct and their enforcement, and the systems for registering asset and conflict of interests' declarations; and the state of oversight bodies receives a score of 59.4. Indeed, almost three quarters of all preventive measures are considered to be in progress; and the initiatives to encourage the participation of civil, as well as the study of preventive measures related to equitable compensation, are considered to be implemented. These results reflect the generally satisfactory distribution of progress.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Mexico shows slightly lower results than those regarding prevention, although significant measures are found implemented. Among other measures, the country has taken satisfactory actions to criminalize active and passive bribery in the public sector, embezzlement in the public sector, and extended forms of involvement in the commission of corruption offenses such as participation and attempt. On the other hand, significant measures were found to be deficient or unimplemented: the criminalization of passive bribery of foreign officials, the criminalization of bribery in the private sector (21.9), the liability of legal persons (43.0) (all three of which are required by UNCAC), and the protection of those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection) (35.9). Other measures remain in progress.

Finally, Mexico is found only partially compliant with its commitments to establish jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions. The UNCAC review mechanism reports that “Mexico has not established its jurisdiction over offenses committed by a stateless person who has his or her habitual residence in Mexico or over crimes against the State.” Furthermore, “it does not establish jurisdiction in cases where Mexico does not extradite a person”. That being said, the overall level of the country’s commitments regarding international cooperation shows a favorable result, with an average section score of 65.7 and over two thirds of all measures within this section found implemented.

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Moderately Resilient
54.4

Western Hemisphere 64.8

Central America 59.7

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
47.8

Western Hemisphere 50.6

Central America 47.3

Rule of Law

Vulnerable
41.3

Western Hemisphere 51.1

Central America 43.5

Business Stability

Moderately Resilient
58.1

Western Hemisphere 50.5

Central America 51.6

Violence & Security

Vulnerable
30.7

Western Hemisphere 55.0

Central America 49.1

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Mexico’s social context indicator score for 2020 declined by a marginal 0.03 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 54.41, which fails to meet the region average of 64.89 by 10.48 points. The country’s indicator score falls within the bottom percentile and ranks among the lowest scores of the Western Hemisphere and Central American regions. Throughout the decade, Mexico’s indicator score has fluctuated, where it achieved the highest score in 2010 with 59.41 and its lowest score of 51.21 in 2012. The country’s decade range is 8.20 points. Mexico’s social context indicator for 2020 is mainly influenced by limited civil liberties and political rights within the country. When journalists report on organized crime, drug trafficking, and corruption concerning press freedom, the media faces threats and violence. According to Reporters Without Borders, the collusion between organized crime and government officials has posed a serious challenge for the media. It has further increased the threat and violence they face within the country.

With regard to the quality of governance and institutions, the country’s indicator has increased by a marginal 0.03 from the previous year. Despite the marginal increase in the country’s indicator score, Mexico’s indicator has been consistently within the 40 and 50 range. Mexico’s indicator score falls within the 25th percentile for the Western Hemisphere countries. The indicator average for the Western Hemisphere in 2020 was 50.63, and Mexico falls below the average by 2.79 points. Throughout the decade, Mexico’s indicator score has varied, where its highest score was 56.24 in 2010, and its lowest score was 47.81 in 2019. Mexico’s indicator score is primarily influenced by widespread corruption, a lack of impartial administration, and weak checks on government power within the country.

Mexico’s rule of law indicator declined by a marginal 0.02 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 41.30 for 2020. Over the last ten years, Mexico’s rule of law score has steadily declined by approximately 2-3 points annually. The country’s score is grouped within the 25th percentile for the Western Hemisphere countries and falls 9.85 points below the regional average for the rule of law indicator. During the decade, the minimum and maximum scores for Mexico were 40.88 (2013) and 45.59 (2010), with a range of 4.71 points. Mexico’s indicator score is mainly attributed to the country’s serious deficit in the rule of law. The 2008 constitutional reforms have only resulted in minor improvement within the judicial system, and inefficiencies, delays, and corruption plague the judicial system in Mexico.

In terms of the country’s business stability, Mexico’s score declined in 2020 by 0.81 points from the previous year. Unlike previous indicators, Mexico’s business stability indicator surpasses the Western Hemisphere average of 50.53 by 7.57 points. Despite exceeding the regional average, Mexico’s score has declined since 2010. Over the last ten years, the minimum and maximum scores for Mexico were 52.10 (2020) and 64.57 (2011), with a range of 12.47 points. The country’s business stability score for 2020 is primarily attributed to corruption, and a lack of efficiency and transparency in regulations.

Mexico’s violence and security indicator for 2020 increased by 0.32 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 30.75. Despite this marginal increase in score, Mexico still suffers from serious challenges concerning violence and security. Mexico’s score is substantially below the Western Hemisphere average of 55.04 and fails to meet the threshold by 24.29 points. The country’s score has varied throughout the decade but has consistently remained low compared to its regional counterparts. During the decade, the minimum and maximum scores for Mexico were 18.80 (2014) and 36.57 (2011), with a range of 17.77 points. The country’s violence and security indicator score for 2020 is primarily impacted by the serious challenges the country faces from organized crime and drug trafficking.