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A Bullet in the Leg

Civil society organizations propose a bill for obligating all elected representatives and officials to make public their financial, tax and interest statements
By The News · 10 of February 2016 13:00:02
SAT _José Luis Salmerón5, No available, No available

Every law has a loophole,” reads the shameful saying. But whatever we can do as citizens to limit public servants in the management of our resources is positive and we must support it.

Civil society organizations proposed a citizens’ bill for, among other things, obligating all elected representatives and officials (of the three levels of government) to make public their financial, tax and interest statements.

How many politicians, just a few years after obtaining an office in the government, have transformed their lifestyle, multiplied the number of their properties and guaranteed their expenses for generations to come? As I know your answer, dear reader, it is time for everyone working in politics and the government to inform us about what they own, how much they owe and spend, before obtaining a work position, during their administration and when they leave office.

Most Mexicans who fortunately have a job or a little business pay their taxes religiously. Of course it hurts to declare, month to month, our income; and we are busy all day requesting invoices everytime we buy something. Obviously, we are surprised and make faces when our accountant tells us how much we must pay, but there is nothing to do.

Do you think that all politicians declare what they earn, according to their position and rank, and the deals they certainly carry out? Do they live and spend according to their income or do they live like kings? The only way to know is making public their tax returns, maybe even the ones from five years ago until now. They should regularly inform us how much do they earn, how much do they spend and how much did they deposit to the Tax Administration Service (SAT). Of course, no one can spend more than they earn.

We would lose our jobs if we deceived the owner of a company saying that one of our relatives sells this or that product cheaper, undermining the interests of the organization that feeds us. How many families are benefited in Mexico through politicians who manage to obtain an office in the government just by using their influences and benefiting their relatives, partners and friends? How many tenders, contracts and concessions in Mexico would pass a full transparency test? Because of that, we should closely examine all government employees so that we can learn about their real interest in businesses. That is, we don’t want to see more purchasing managers and suppliers with the same last names.

The proposal requires 120,000 signatures verified by the National Electoral Institute (INE) so that it can become a citizens’ initiative and be discussed in Congress.

Will you sign the 3de3 law? And, will political parties and their representatives in Congress approve it, or would it be like putting a bullet in their own leg?

*Journalist, editor and broadcaster

@GustavoRenteria

www.GustavoRenteria.mx