León, Guanajuato, Mexico
On Thursday, 12 March 2020, 33 representatives of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) met at Poliforum in León, Guanajuato, Mexico for a DEPE training focusing on corruption prevention. Most Mexican DEPE trainers are currently based in Mexico City, so it was a mutual decision to try and amplify the reach of the trainings to other regions of the country. The Bajío region, where the city of León is located, was chosen due to its high level of economic activity.
Marco Pérez, Alliance for Integrity’s Network Manager for Mexico and Colombia, started the meeting by noting that more than 200 people have become business-to-business trainers in Latin America within the last five years, 40 of them are based in Mexico. These trainers have gone on to deliver training to over 1,000 representatives of SMEs in the region. The intention is to encourage experts from León to become trainers in order to provide courses more frequently in the region.
Katya Morales and Andrea González from the Citizen Participation Counsel of Guanajuato which partnered with the Alliance for Integrity to organise the event, explained that their mission is to empower citizens and incentivise their participation in social matters. “Teaming up with the Alliance for Integrity to train business owners on corruption prevention came very naturally,” said Katya.
Four of the trainers kindly gave their time and resources to travel to León and to share their insights regarding corruption prevention. Pedro Carta, former Vice-president of the anticorruption commission of COPARMEX, an independent employers' union that brings together employers from various sectors,
and Angel Olague from KitHub, a local trainer from León who joined the Alliance for Integrity last year, explained the main forms of corruption, as well as how to identify and deal with grey areas.
Trainers Claudia Ávila from the Mexican Association of Private Industrial Parks (AMPIP) and Carlos López of Covestro, led the second part of the event, in which participants discussed strategies for creating an internal compliance system in their own businesses. The participants also shared how collective action can play a fundamental role in corruption prevention, while trainers gave practical real-world examples of success. “It is important to realise the competitive advantages that integrity brings to your company. SMEs are the most vulnerable against corruption and while many of them have the desire to fight corruption not all of them have the knowledge to do so”, stated Carlos.
At the end of the presentations, the participants had a chance to ask questions and resolve any doubts about the content presented during the course. During this question session, some businesswomen asked about how to tackle gender related forms of corruption. Claudia Ávila responded that, “as women, it is important to have a clear understanding of the rules and policies of compliance, for our own protection and to prevent situations from becoming problematic.”
The general response from the participants was positive and many of them asked for other trainings in the region. We will continue with our DEPE trainings with an introductory webinar about conflict of interest prevention in April.
Author: Kevin Oskar Pöll Garduño