Zachary Bookman

Academic Year: 
From Yale
Exchange Partners: 
el Colegio de Mexico
Research Interest: 
Assessing the Implementation of Mexico's Freedom of Information Act

Mr. Bookman will study the implementation of Mexico s recently passed Freedom of Information Act. Whereas the US has had a FOIA for over forty years, Mexico enacted this landmark law in June 2003. Prior to the administration of President Fox, Mexican citizens were often denied access to information regarding the institutions and rules that governed their lives. With the establishment of an entire government agency, the Federal Institute for Access to Information, responsible for overseeing the law s administration and hearing appeals for public information, there is great promise to fight corruption, promote human rights, and consolidate Mexico s democratic gains. Many developing countries, particularly in Latin America (Argentine, Brazil) are watching closely to see whether Mexico can pull it off. Mr. Bookman will focus his study on how executive agencies and quasi-federal entities are meeting the implementation challenges posed by a modern information culture. He will also track the state level roll-out and constitutional reform initiatives among Mexico s Federal States.