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Tlajomulco government is most transparent in Mexico

July 16, 2013

The municipality of Tlajomulco, run by the liberal Citizen’s Movement, has the most transparent government in all of Mexico, according to the latest study by non-governmental organization Citizens for Transparent Municipalities (Cimtra).

The Tlajomulco government became the first to receive a perfect score of 100 in the assessment conducted in May, up from 94.4 in last year’s ranking, in which it was also judged the most transparent in the country. Transparency is considered one of the most necessary and effective means of fighting the corruption that pervades many aspects of society and significantly undermines democracy in Mexico.

“Being the most transparent municipality in Mexico is not a matter of resources; it is a matter of will. We reaffirm our commitment to the citizens,” Tlajomulco Mayor Isamel del Toro wrote on Twitter.

The Guadalajara metropolitan area proved the most transparent in Mexico, with Zapopan ranked second with a score of 96.1, Guadalajara ranked fourth with 83.8 and Tlaquepaque fifth with 73.3. The border city of Ciudad Juarez, until recently the most dangerous place in Mexico, was ranked the third most transparent municipality.

Despite being the most indebted municipality in all of Mexico, Guadalajara’s score has risen by 8.4 points since the 2012 evaluation. Tonala let the metropolitan area down, failing the evaluation with a low grade of just 32 points, while nearby El Salto received only 15 points – the worst rating in Mexico. Elsewhere in Jalisco, Chapala and Zapotlanejo also failed the evaluation, while Tamazula’s rating plummeted from 77.2 to a lowly 18.

Cimtra has been evaluating transparency in the most populous municipalities across Mexico since 2008. Nine municipalities, representing 61 percent of the state population, were evaluated in Jalisco this year. However, many of those not evaluated have much worse transparency records than the more populous municipalities that comprise the metropolitan area.

A study by former National Action Party (PAN) deputy Gustavo Gonzalez Hernandez showed that 36 of Jalisco’s 125 municipalities are violating the Public Information Act by not publishing certain information on their websites. Since 2005, all municipal governments are required by law to publish information including their annual budgets, salaries and travel expenses, but few in Jalisco fully comply, with the least transparent typically being the smallest municipalities with the lowest budgets.

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