In November Mexican civil society networks greeted incoming president, Vincente Fox, with a letter calling for greater transparency and accountability in the country’s decision making processes. They called on Fox to open up the negotiating processes between the multilateral financial institutions (the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank) and the Mexican government. They called for opportunities for public scrutiny and Congress approval. To date, most of the negotiation process has been secret.
Among other requests, they called on Fox to:
- define legislation which ensures civil society participation in the multilateral organizations’ consultations, particularly those of the World Bank, the IMF and the IDB;
- publicize the dates and results of IMF‘s annual Article IV missions and submit the results to Congress and the Senate;
- seek Congressional approval of Country Assistance Strategies before they are approved by the World Bank’s Board of Directors, and that all sectors of society be broadly consulted;
- seek Senate approval at the initial stage of project identification of all WB and IDB operations, and give Congress regular updates to determine whether the project should continue to the next phase;
- seek approval from Congress to modify Article II of the General Law on Public Debt, to require that all documents having to do with foreign debt be submitted to Congress and that the President’s national budget identify the source of all expenditures each year;.
- revise the Decree of Budget Expenditures of the Federation to note that Congress and civil society have the right to monitor public programs at the federal and state level; including where resources come from and how they are spent, as well as the impacts of these programs on beneficiary or affected populations.