Corruption in Mexico Symposium

Transparency, Democracy, and Reform: New Perspectives on Corruption in Mexico

May 16-17, 2013

Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, U.C. San Diego

With February’s arrest of powerful union leader Elba Esther Gordillo on charges of embezzlement, the question of government action on issues of transparency and corruption has come to the forefront of Mexican political discussions. Thirteen years after the end of the Institutional Revolution Party (PRI) regime, the challenge of improving transparency has remained a vexing issue for politicians and civil society alike in the new era of democracy. With the return of the PRI to the presidency last summer, many feared the revival of its legacy of corruption. Incoming President Enrique Peña Nieto, however, has placed the creation of a new national anticorruption agency at the center of his government’s plans and has pushed for reforms to the national transparency agency, the Instituto Federal de Acceso a la Información (IFAI). If the idea of corruption has exerted outsized influence on Mexico’s political imaginary, few attempts have been made to contextualize or understand its meanings and impacts. This event will bring together scholars working on different aspects of corruption to provide valuable new perspectives on both the history and implications of PRI and PAN-era venality in the 20th and 21st centuries.


THURSDAY, May 16, 2013
Location: UC San Diego Campus, Institute of the Americas, Weaver Center
1:30 – 2:00pm | Registration
2:00 – 3:45pm | Panel 1: “Excavating the Prinosaurio: Historical Perspectives”
Discussants: Barbara Zepeda, UC San Diego and Maria Lorena Cook, Cornell University
“Kickbacks, Collusion, and Cooptation: Mexico City’s Trash Industry, 1940-1980”
Michael Lettieri, UC San Diego
“The Functions of Corruption: Bartolomé García Correa and the Foundation of Mexico’s Postrevolutionary State, 1924-1935”
Ben Fallaw, Colby College
“Peculados and Politics: Mexico City’s Markets, 1946-1958”
Ingrid Bleynat, King’s College London
4:00 – 5:00pm | Keynote Address
Dr. Alejandro Poiré, Former Interior Secretary of Mexico and Visiting Fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution

FRIDAY, May 17, 2013
Location: UC San Diego Campus, Faculty Club, Conference Rooms 1-3
9:00am – 11:00am | Panel 2: “Measuring the Mythical: the Political Economy of Corruption”
Discussants: Alberto Díaz-Cayeros, UC San Diego
“The Watchful Eye and the Cracking Whip: A Study on Corruption Monitoring”
Paul Lagunes, Yale University
“Local Supreme Audit Institutions in Mexico: Regulations, Practices and Transparency Assessment”
Jana Palacios, Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad
“Finding Irregularities in Mexican Local Elections”
Francisco Cantú, UC San Diego
11:15am – 1:00pm | Panel 3: “Comparative Perspectives”
“Comparative Perspectives on and Measures of Corruption”
Miriam Golden, UCLA
“Controlling Corruption: The Role of Transparency and Accountability”
Brigitte Zimmerman, UC San Diego
“Democracy and Control of Corruption in Korea”
Jong-sung You, UC San Diego
“Corruption in India”
Devesh Tiwari, UC San Diego
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