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THE SHORT-LIVED STORY OF MEXICO’S SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES: AN ANTI-CORRUPTION CANCELLATION OR A POLITICAL DISCOURSE? PP. 25-48

This article analyses the cancellation of the 2016 Special Economic Zones (SEZs), a project that sought to increase the economic competitivity of selected territories by attracting foreign direct investments (FDIs) through tax benefits and logistical platform commitments; being abrogated in 2019 and relocated to the 10 SEZs supporting the Trans-Isthmic Railroad in 2021 (TIR-SEZs). The paper discusses that, under the façade of anti-corruption, the current President of Mexico (2018-2024) is continuing neoliberal practices; the same ones he has called to accountability for being prone to corruption.

This piece uses the theoretical bases purported by Brabazon’s Neoliberal Legal, the Law & Economics and Law & Development scholarships to assess the presence of neoliberal concepts in both the previous SEZs and the TIR-SEZs’ legal framework. After a brief review of foreign SEZs’ experiences, the author identifies legislative patterns that might foster corruption and human rights violations within the TIR-SEZ; specially since it applies the neoliberal-ridden 2016’s Federal Law of Special Economic Zones (FLSEZ). The text concludes that the current presidential administration would do better at preventing neoliberal corruption through the abrogation of the current Mexican Constitution (alongside the FLSEZ) and establishing clear constitutional principles that aid with the fight against corruption and prescinding of the anti-corruption political discourse altogether.

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