López Obrador seeks to eliminate autonomous entities, including the transparency and data protection entity

What entities are we talking about? For now, the National Institute of Transparency, access to information and data protection (INAI), Federal Institute of Telecommunications, the Energy Regulatory Commission and the National Hydrocarbons Commission, said El País.

Why? In the words of the Mexican president, these are entities that “they are expensive and give few results ... they were created to pretend that there was going to be transparency that corruption was going to be fought, that there was no longer going to be a monopoly, when what they have done is to serve as smoke screens for them to commit crimes and to hide information. They are like covers, they are pandering organisms that justify everything”. In the same vein, the director of the Federal Electricity Commission, Manuel Bartlett heldor: "It is an invention to destroy the State, also with some soldiers, some prerogatives, enormous offices, the president is absolutely right, it is a perverse construction to give a total preponderance to the private sector"

 In that sense, he plans to entrust the tasks of these autonomous entities to the different secretariats of his government. Will they move all the tasks or will some be left out? On the other hand, where is the specialization of the functions? And finally, If there is no longer autonomy, who will depend on whether or not the information is delivered? (In the specific case of INAI). It is only logical to conclude that the executive himself.

What is the INAI in charge of? Among its main functions is to demand that public bodies, political parties and other public entities comply with requests for access to information. According to the Mexican transparency scheme, if a public entity rejects a request for access to information, it can be appealed to the INAI. ¿The most curious thing? Since President Obrador's first year in office, appeals have increased by 500, the highest number since its inception in 2003Said Human Rights Watch. Before its creation the rule was the "Official Secret". How was relevant information obtained for the search for the disappeared, for the proof of illicit acts or to unmask circles of corruption? There is no answer, probably that information never reached the knowledge of those who needed it.

Does the proposal have detractors? Evidently. the main reason? It only favors the concentration of power In the government of López Obrador, in this sense, the Consejo Coordinador Empresarial de México (representative body of the Mexican business sector) Held"Projects to weaken or eliminate autonomous bodies, which have been pillars of recent democracy and Mexico's pride in the world, generate uncertainty. The concentration of power, the elimination of controls and specialized technical knowledge will never contribute to achieving positive results in any of the areas currently regulated autonomously."

In the same sense, the organization Articulo 19 He highlighted the counterbalance function that these entities perform, or at least that they are “entrusted to perform” against the (perhaps arbitrary) action on the part of the government in power.

The truth is that all entities can be "captured" by the interests of third parties if the necessary controls are not established so that this does not happen. Clearly, the structure of the entity itself is not the problem, probably the delimitation and scope of its powers, either. With which, the logical thing would be to correct their deficiencies, either by implementing new anti-corruption policies or evaluating results, but leaving them out of the government system, clearly, is not a good decision. In fact, according to all that has been stated, perhaps it is all about a “presumed ineffectiveness”.

Finally, what could be the terrible consequence? The violation of the citizens' right to information (in the specific case of INAI), whether it be information of a general nature, or on cases of corruption or human rights violations, it is not possible to violate one of the most basic tools of citizenship.

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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.

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