A new institution designed to tackle endemic corruption in Jalisco is one step closer to becoming a reality after the five citizens who will serve on the oversight committee (Comité de Participación Social) of the new Sistema Estatal Anticorrupcion (SEA) were sworn in this week.
All five members of the committee have academic backgrounds and are not affiliated with a political party.
One of their first major tasks will be to vet potential candidates seeking to become Jalisco’s first “Special Anti-Corruption Prosecutor” (Fiscal Especial en Combate a la Corrupcion). This person will concentrate exclusively on bringing corrupt officials and private citizens to justice.
The oversight committee is expected to play a crucial role in ensuring that the new institution is not compromised in any way. NGOs have stressed that the SEA is doomed to fail unless the office of the new prosecutor is totally independent of the state’s political machinery and the incumbent attorney general, who is appointed by the governor.
While the Jalisco state legislature will have the final say on the naming of the anti-corruption prosecutor, the recommendations of the oversight committee regarding the applicants are expected to weigh heavily in their decision.
Other officials to be elected to SEA posts include three judges to the Jalisco Supreme Court and a representative in the State Comptroller’s Office.
Jalisco Governor Aristoteles Sandoval said he hoped the SEA could be up and running by the start of the next year. He predicted that the five citizens elected to the oversight committee will be “the pillars and fundamental base” of the new anticorruption system.