Mexican Senate Picks Seven New Commissioners

1 May 2014

The Mexican Senate April 30 selected the seven new commissioners for the Federal Institute for Access to Information and Data Protection (IFAI).

All seven candidates got more than 100 votes, above the two-thirds needed (74).

There were objections that politics had trumped expertise in the decision-making (See CNN report).

One of those selected, Eugenio Monterrey Chepov, was not on the list of 25 nominees proposed by an expert committee. He has close ties to President Enrique Peña Nieto.

The seven chosen are:

Mary Patricia Kurczyn Villalobos is a lawyer and member of the Institute of Legal Research of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

Ximena Puente de la Mora is a lawyer and president of the Institute for Transparency, Access to Information and Data Protection of the State of Colima.

Areli Cano was a commissioner of the Institute for Access to Public Information of the Federal District (InfoDF).

Oscar Mauricio Guerra Ford is an economist who was president of the Institute of Access to Public Information and Personal Data Protection of the Federal District (InfoDF).

Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas is a lawyer and was an official in the area of access to information of the Electoral Tribunal of the Judicial Power of the Federation (TEPJF).

Eugenio Monterrey Chepov is an economist who served as Commissioner of the Institute for Access to Information of the State of Mexico since July 24, 2008. On Oct. 28, 2010, he was appointed Commissioner President of the Institute.

Joel Salas Suarez was an official on transparency policy in the Ministry of Public Service.

The nongovernmental organization Fundar generally praised the selections, but with some misgivings (see commentary in Spanish)

Staggered Terms

They are named for staggered terms: Francisco Javier Acuña Llamas, will be commissioned until March 31, 2023. Monterrey Eugenio Chepov hold office until March 31, 2022 . Oscar Mauricio Guerra Ford until March 31, 2022 . Mary Patricia Villalobos Kurczyn until March 31, 2020. Salas Joel Suarez, until March 31, 2020. Ximena Mora Bridge until March 31, 2018. Areli Cano, until March 31, 2018

IFIA canceled a May 7 meeting in anticipation of the transition. The new commissioners are replacing the four existing ones and the commission is expanding to seven members. The commissioners elect the chairman of the commission.

The president has 10 days in which to object to the Senate selections.

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