What motivates you/inspires you to work in anti-corruption?
What motivates us is to continue building new narratives and perspectives on how corruption fosters serious human rights violations, mainly with a feminist perspective from the Global South.
We seek to go beyond the traditional epistemological references of the anti-corruption agenda and work in a broader field of democracy. We seek to dispute public narratives that help us to create counterweights to the Federal and Local Executive Power, as well as the network that exists with other informal powers.
We highlight that cis women, trans women and non-binary people face particular and systemic violence, because we are in a capitalist and colonizing system, where bodies and lives have different values. The bodies of racialized women* are used as fields and weapons of war, expressly in forms of violence such as sexual torture, disappearance, femicide, sexual extortion, among others, crossed by corruption and systemic impunity. In that sense, power is currently centralized and corrupt, so peripheral people do not enter into this colonial social order. Therefore, from Mexiro A.C., we give power a meaning to the dispute, decentralization and resignification of power in our political and narrative horizon as a civil society organization in a political context, where power is being centralized in the figure of the Executive Power, and there is a growing militarization of public security and civil actions.
What are your organization’s main goals?
Mexiro A.C. is a feminist organization that aims to fight and decentralize the power in the status quo that hinders sustainable development. Our vision is to tackle the concentration of power with processes that strengthen a state of law and a bottom up governance approach. A foremost area of our recent work has been in the area of anticorruption. We incorporate a feminist perspective, informed by different currents including decolonial, communitarian, anti racist and anti-militarist, in all our work. We believe that our aim as an organization and our theory of change can be achieved through the following value propositions:
- Develop and apply innovative approaches and methodologies which result from a co-creation between different sectors of society.
- Train different social actors through activities that encourage citizen participation and strengthen their advocacy capacity from a systemic vision.
- Create anti corruption public policy recommendations from a local perspective for sustainable development.
- Incorporate social technology that is focused on people, to facilitate processes, adoption and ensure the replicability of our projects.
How does your organization operate?
Our organization structure reflects our belief in co-creation and collaboration. It is a fairly horizontal organization, we have an area dedicated to strategy, design and innovation, an area dedicated to communication, and then we have a main area comprising our analysts in our Women Against Corruption Project and CO+MÚN Project: Citizen Observatory of Anti-corruption Systems in Mexico. We also have multiple interns and volunteers, and we work alongside other organizations and collective groups in the areas we are interested in. Further, we work with local governments on projects like assessing their anti corruption strategies and protocols.
What are the biggest successes your organization has accomplished in the field of anti-corruption in the past years?
- Project “Women Against Corruption: Guidelines for designing and implementing anti-corruption policies and programs with a gender and feminist perspective”, provides tools to the public sector and civil society to mainstream the gender perspective, the human rights approach and the community and antimilitarist feminist perspective in the anti-corruption agenda. It provides civil society with information so that it can actively participate in the public policy cycle of Anti Corruption Policies and Programs. Also the project helps strengthen the capacities of policy makers for the design and implementation of Anticorruption Policies and Programs by having a simple and central document to mainstream the gender, feminist and human rights perspective in them. This document has a tool: Anti Corruption Tarot.
- Local Anti-Corruption Complaints Campaign. A project to transfer resources to women activists and journalists in the peripheries of Mexico to implement local feminist anti-corruption projects for the defense of their body-territories.
- In the latest edition of the project “Latin American Feminist Anti-Corruption Advocacy School” we trained 399 women, from 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on the subject. The sessions included special guest speakers and a series of activities and forums to deepen participants’ knowledge and open a space for discussion and exchange of diverse ideas and knowledge among women from the Global South.
- Project, “Project CO-MÚN”, is ongoing and seekd to strengthen the capacities of the National Anticorruption System through the State Anticorruption Systems (SEA) of the entities of the State of Mexico, Sonora, Sinaloa, Baja California Sur, Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Coahuila, Yucatán, Puebla, Hidalgo, Aguascalientes, Jalisco, Nuevo León and Chihuahua, through feminist advocacy so that the communication of the Anticorruption Systems about their organization and operation is systematized, accessible and useful. In this sense, we have systematized and delivered recommendations to be taken as inputs in State Anticorruption Policies through research on Anticorruption Policies and Programs in a feminist key. Likewise, we have worked in co-creation with public officials of the Systems to provide them with tools that allow them to innovate and co-create with the citizenry, mainly to proactively make useful information transparent, systematized and accessible to civil society. Moreover, through the CO+MÚN Intelligence Network we generate collective advocacy for the Systems to incorporate institutional mechanisms for plural and active citizen participation, accountability, proactive transparency and innovation to address corruption. More recently, in 2021 we developed a digital platform for civil society in each target state (with a blockchain component) that allows for transparency and effective communication of information from EAS institutions. This year we are implementing the country’s first indicators on the human rights approach and the gender perspective in those anti-corruption institutions in the country.
- At the regional level, we included for the first time in the anti-corruption agenda, the cross-cutting feminist perspective with a focus on the defense of the body-territory. In turn, Mexiro A.C. is generating more work to mainstream anti-corruption with access to labor, sexual and reproductive rights, questioning the predominant narratives of anti-corruption analysis.
What are the key challenges specific to your local context that your organization has been facing?
- Lack of transparency and cooperation from state officials.
- Lack of comprehensive information and data in the areas we research and act, particularly a lack of this data with a specific gender, feminist and human rights approach.
- The prevalence of the patriarchy in all areas which clashes against our desire to gender mainstream and incorporate our innovative feminist perspective.
- Limited resources and funding.
- Backlash from certain groups, individuals and organizations.
What can other organizations learn from you?
- Our working theory of how to decentralize, dispute and redefine power to create strong plans of action that strengthen political projects.
- Our innovative feminist perspective and focus on human rights, that is primarily informed by the communitarian, decolonial and anti military feminist lines of thought.
- Our innovation in tackling the issues we all aim to address, with things like the Anti-Corruption Tarot, to be able to have clear consolidated documents with recommendations and information.
- Our strategy of working and collaborating and co creating. We fully believe that to achieve our goals we need bottom up approaches informed by our lived experiences alongside the traditional sources of knowledge. We believe that working with other organizations will be enriching for everyone involved.
- The realities and specific context of the country we operate in, Mexico, as well as the broader Latin American region for trends on issues related to governance, sustainable development and anti corruption.
To what extent has your organization been involved in the UNCAC Review Mechanism?
Our organization is a new and recent member in the UNCAC Coalition, so we have successfully completed the civil society review mechanisms. In that sense, our organization has not been involved in the formal UNCAC Review Mechanism but through some of the work and projects previously outlined we have interacted with the governments in different states to carry out the CO+MÚN Project.
What is an anti-corruption achievement you are proud of?
We are proud of the three editions of the Women Against Corruption Project:
- In the 2020 edition, we implemented a training process for women activists, defenders, and journalists from the outskirts of the State of Mexico and published a map showing corruption in cases related to violence against women generated at the local level.
- In the 2021 edition of the Woman Against Corruption Project, we created a Local Anticorruption Advocacy Campaign that transferred resources to women activists and journalists to implement a feminist anticorruption project locally.
- In the 2022 edition of Women Against Corruption Project we created the first “Latin American Feminist Anticorruption Advocacy School” with more than 300 women beneficiaries, from 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on the subject.
And we are proud of the results of the digital platform of the CO+MÚN Project: Citizen Observatory of Anti-corruption Systems in Mexico.
What have you learned from your organization’s work in anti-corruption that could be useful to others?
We believe that our transversal approach to human rights, gender and feminist perspective in the management of projects, investigations, alliances and advocacy contributes to building better proposals to eliminate corruption, mainly that which affects women, non-binary and trans people.
We consider that contributing to decentralize power implies creating spaces (analog and digital), training processes and networks of organization and political action with a local and feminist approach to strengthen democratic processes in the current context that help to articulate activists, journalists, researchers and local victims, putting them at the center of public debate with their own narratives and articulated political actions for the decolonization of power.
Why is it important for you and your organization to be a member of the UNCAC Coalition?
It is important for our organization to be a part of the UNCAC Coalition because of all the opportunities for growth and collaboration that this could bring. Being part of the coalition amplifies our voice on a worldwide platform and would allow us to showcase, inspire and share the projects and theories that we have been working on in Mexico, so that some of our good practices can hopefully be replicated around the world.
This is a fantastic opportunity to connect with other organizations and members of civil society on issues that interest us, so that we may learn from each other and work together. We have some big dreams of what we hope to accomplish with the UNCAC Coalition and are delighted to be part of it!