[JURIST] The Mexican Congress on Friday passed several anti-corruption bills that would increase the severity of penalties for corruption charges. Should President Enrique Peña Nieto [official website, in Spanish] approve the bill, public officials would face [Reuters report] increased fines and jail time for crimes such as bribery, embezzlement and illegal enrichment. While the bill would require government-funded entities to make public disclosures, Institutional Revolutionary Party (IRP) [party website, in Spanish] members and allies voted down a provision requiring the same for public officials. Nieto is expected to sign the bill after recently declaring his intention to strengthen corruption laws.
The anti-corruption bills in Mexico follow recent news of courts combating corruption worldwide. Also Friday the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected [JURIST report] the appeal of former Connecticut governor John Rowland’s corruption charges. Former Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina, former vice president Roxana Baldetti, and 70 other Guatemalan officials face corruption charges [JURIST report] for being involved in an embezzlement scheme. Earlier this month, South African President Jacob Zuma, along with the state prosecutor, began an appeal [JURIST report] of a ruling reinstating 783 corruption charges against him. Last month, Former Argentinian president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner was charged in federal court [JURIST report] for manipulating the economy in order to resolve the country’s low foreign reserves.