Mexico’s corruption problem is a vicious circle. Few legal tools have existed to identify, punish and prevent actions such as graft, conflict of interest or influence peddling. Powerful corrupt officials have no incentive to fill that legal void, and so the cycle of failed promises and public losses has continued for decades. Now, the rise of social media has been exploited to boost the lobbying power of civil society groups (and indeed, the general public), forcing President Peña Nieto to fulfil one of his great campaign promises (Wilson Center, 16.02.2016).

Back in April 2015, after much debate, senators finally approved the creation of a new National Anti-Corruption System (SNA); originally proposed by Peña Nieto in late 2014 (FCP Américas, 15.05.2015). The move was never going to cure a long-term infection overnight; but nevertheless, it was a crucial step in the right direction. Ten months later, the secondary enabling legislation required to appoint a special prosecutor and formulate regulatory changes for making the SNA ‘operational’ remains stalled in Congress. The reform is ambitious and must be replicated in each of Mexico’s 32 state governments (WSJ, 27.01.2016).