Jucopo Publishes Proposal to Resolve INAI’s Ongoing Backlog

Photo: INAI


On Tuesday, May 30, Mexico’s Political Coordination Board of the Senate (Jucopo) agreed to propose the convention of an extraordinary senate session for June 8, with the purpose of appointing two commissioners to the autonomous federal organization the National Institute of Transparency, Access to Public Information and Data Protection (INAI), in line with judicial amparo 1714/202.

The INAI has been hamstrung since April 1 of this year due to an insufficient quantity of commissioners to handle its caseload, resulting in an accumulated pileup of more than 4,500 transparency requests in the two months following.

According to Article 33 of Mexico’s Federal Transparency Law, the INAI must have five commissioners present to legally resolve transparency requests at meetings; however, only the Mexican senate has the right to process the appointments of the INAI commissioners, leaving the fate of the Mexican public’s access to information squarely in the senate’s hands.

While the senate had previously approved the appointment of two commissioners, Ana Yadira Alarcón Márquez and Rafael Luna Alviso, on March 1, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) later vetoed the dual appointments due to purported concerns surrounding Luna Alviso’s qualifications. With the term of INAI Commissioner Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas ending just weeks later on March 31, the INAI was subsequently left with only four of its required five members to take action, putting the transparency institute and its mounting caseload in limbo ever since and leaving tens of millions of Mexicans without their right to public information.

Beyond his hindering veto, it should be noted that López Obrador, who’s long admitted his intentions to dismantle Mexico’s autonomous institutions, has repeatedly attempted to discredit the INAI across its monthslong pause, calling it “useless” and a “bureaucratic ballast.” 

INAI Commissioner Josefina Román has likewise requested that the Supreme Court Justice of the Nation (SCJN) establish a constitutional ruling to allow the INAI to operate with only four of the required five commissioners to fulfill its constitutional duties, all while the senate continues its lengthy pending appointment process for the institute’s remaining three commissioner slots. 

“The best thing would be for the Senate of the Republic to name the three missing commissioners, but as long as it does not name them, the idea is that the court would allow us to hold sessions as is,” said Román at the time.

Though the Jucopo’s consensus proposal for the extraordinary session in June may seem like a resolution to the INAI backlog is imminent, Jucopo President and Senate Majority Leader Ricardo Monreal Ávila made sure to note that he could not guarantee any votes from his in-power National Regeneration Movement (Morena) party than his own, which will likely could leave the proposal – which requires a qualified majority to pass – dead in the water.

As Mexico’s 2024 elections – which will see the election of a new president, 500 members of the Chamber of Deputies and 128 senators into office – draw closer and closer, the senate-enabled shutdown of the INAI may provide roadblocks to a fair and informed electoral process, something some analysts say is AMLO’s precise intention, given his much-touted Plan C quest to reach a Morena-qualified majority in the legislature come 2024.  

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