Mapping the Digital Legal Information of Mexico, Central America, the Spanish Speaking Caribbean and Haiti
73 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2011
Date Written: July 26, 2011
Over the past decade, the Latin American countries have committed to strengthening Democratic Governance in the region and to promoting transparency in government. This was a result of the Declaration of the Heads of State and Government in the Special Summit of the Americas Meeting which was held in Monterrey, Mexico in 2004 - the Declaration of Nuevo Leon. As part of the Declaration, the leaders committed to promote transparency and to provide the legal and regulatory framework to guarantee the right of access to information to their citizens. This was understood as a means to improve the quality of democracy and to strengthen the rule of law through an effective participation of the citizens. As a result, specific laws of transparency and access to public information were enacted by the following countries: Puerto Rico through the Electronic Government Act in 2004; the Dominican Republic in 2005; Honduras in 2006; Nicaragua enacted two separate laws, one on access to public information in 2007, and another on transparency in 2008; Guatemala in 2008; and El Salvador in March 2011. The laws explicitly state that the creation and maintenance of government websites is the means for delivering the contents of public information. The laws also define the types of documents and the types of information that should be made accessible for the three branches of government: the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches. These include documents generated by the functions and operations of the governmental units, including documents on budget execution, programs, projects, bidding, purchasing, spending, and the legal framework.
This paper focuses on mapping the digital legal information of Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panamá, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. The mapping of the digital legal information for these countries is presented in the context of the fundamental right to access to public information expressed in many of these countries’ national constitutions and in the specific laws enacted to ascertain the level of transparency of the countries in the region.
Keywords: Government Transparency, Access to Information, Mexico, Central America, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Central American Integration System (SICA), Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico
JEL Classification: K33, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation