Mexico cracks down on corruption: minister

12:59, June 23, 2010      

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Mexico has created special units and cut red tape to eliminate corruption and malfeasance, said the country's top anti-graft official.

"We redesigned the ministry two years ago and now we are focusing on two things: administration and anti-corruption," Salvador Vega Casillas, minister of Mexico's Public Duties Ministry, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

He said the ministry has been transformed from being an auditor ensuring public servants file correct papers, to an active investigator watching closely suspected government employees who earn much more than their salaries.

"We had to stop seeing corruption as an act of maladministration but a crime," Vega said.

Before he took office, the ministry prosecuted a little more than a dozen cases, and all of them were against one or two individual public servants. Now the ministry is acting against 150 people a year and has won more than 85 percent of the cases.

Vega also created special units to ensure that government employees honor their promises and public servants living a lavish lifestyle are being watched closely.

"When they have a lifestyle that does not match their income, that's when we review their work to find clues of ill-gotten gains," the minister said, stressing that the investigation will expose all involved, not only the suspect.

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