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Documents in Action: FOI Success Stories in Mexico

By: Emilene Martinez-Morales

Mexico’s civil society have maximized the potential of its Federal Access to Information Law to affect policies in local communities, advocate for citizens’ rights, and expose corruption at the highest levels of state.

Openness advocates have utilized two key institutional features of Mexico’s access-to-information system. The electronic system for sending information requests to federal agencies, Infomex, also allows citizens to review all public requests and responses to these requests. the Federal Access to Information Institute (IFAI), carries out the functions of an information ombudsman’s office, reviewing appeals for information, and maintaining a good track record of ruling in favor of citizens requests.

Over 300,000 requests have been sent since the law was implemented in 2004. This article highlights some of the revelations made possible through the citizen requests sent through Mexico’s Federal Access to Information Law.