Impact | Negative
Civicus Rating | Repressed
On February 25, Mexico’s top court ordered the ‘definitive suspension’ of a decree under which the President, Andres Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), had declared that federal government-backed investments in strategic areas of public interest were to be matters national security, a move that would have allowed it to reject access to public information requests under Article 113 of the Federal Law of Transparency and Access to Public Information. This states that: “withheld information may be classified as that…which compromises national security, public safety or the national defense”. The decree was seen as all the more prejudicial in that, because of the tight deadlines it sought to establish for the approval of government backed projects, it would have hindered the undertaking of adequate environmental impact assessments and feasibility studies.
This ruling, issued in response to a lawsuit filed by the organization Litigio Estratégico AC, is in line with a precedent established by the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation on December 14, 2021, when it partially suspended another Government decree this time in response to an appeal filed by the National Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Protection of Personal Data. Litigio Estratégico AC welcomed the Court’s decision vowing that they will continue to “watch over the rule of law and contest any abuse of authority that any government tries to implement”.
While the Mexican justice system was settling the scope and limits of the right of access to public information, INAI inaugurated a space in charge of establishing general guidelines and coordinating actions to promote the opening of data, Grupo Impulsor de la Estrategia “Abramos México”. In addition to INAI, the body is made up of the National Transparency System (SNT in Spanish) and the Federal Superior Audit Office (ASF in Spanish), among other entities.