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Irma Méndez de Hoyos and Miguel Angel Lopez Varas

This chapter examines the party funding system in Mexico and Chile in the period 1990–2016. It analyses the evolution of the legal framework, the context of institutional changes, and its intended benefits. We compare Chile and Mexico as two cases that started the 21st century with very different party funding systems but ended up with similar rules that support generous public funding schemes that follow principles of transparency and equality and aim to end scandals of political corruption and illegal funding of party campaigns. Gradually, the singularities of the past gave way to the similarities of the present. These similarities in political finance are shared by most of the advanced democracies.

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Irma Méndez de Hoyos, Tomislav Lendo and Ulises Flores Llanos

In this chapter we look at the experience of Mexico under its left-wing populist president Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who has made of the fight against corruption the core of his political promise. As developed throughout the chapter, we have found that he has privileged a personalistic rather than an institutional approach to fighting corruption. Rather than implementing an institutional system to identify and punish corruption, the issue has been used for political revenge punishing the president’s political adversaries while letting his allies to get away with misconduct. The fight against corruption has played a central role in López Obrador’s communication strategy. It has been used as a shortcut to explain all of the country’s economic, social and political problems and to reduce the solutions to a simple idea: fighting corruption. So, in the end, rather than a real attempt to change institutions, López Obrador’s fight against corruption seems to be nothing more than strategy to advance its political project.