Mexican Embassy Stunt
Christian Aid visited the Mexican embassy last month to mark an anniversary that may have escaped most people’s notice. On 9 February two years ago, Mexico wrote to the US government proposing that the two countries exchange financial information about bank accounts that would help prevent tax evasion.
To date, we understand Mexico still hasn’t received a response to this request.
Tax and poverty
It might seem a bit of a technical issue at first. After all, what’s this got to do with poverty? Quite a lot, as it turns out.
According to a recent report from Global Financial Integrity, Mexico has lost a staggering $872 billion over the past forty years, partly through companies shifting their profits out of the country through tax havens.
Global tax standards
It’s a story we see time and again in our work around the world - people remaining in poverty because their government can’t collect enough tax to provide basic public services like schools, hospitals and sanitation.
If we had global standards requiring the kind of financial transparencythat Mexico requested of the US two years ago we could strike a real blow against poverty.
Mexico and the G20
This year, Mexico holds the presidency of the G20, a global body with the political clout to demand the financial transparency developing countries need to tackle tax dodging. We think this is a great opportunity for Mexico to be a champion for tax justice.
Which is why, two years to the day after Mexico asked the US to exchange tax information, Christian Aid’s campaigns team visited the Mexican embassy armed with a vintage suitcase stashed full of action cards asking the President of Mexico to take action on tax haven secrecy at this year’s G20.
In the next month we’ll be launching a campaign asking Prime Minister David Cameron to do the same. But for now you can take action by asking FTSE100 companies to support our campaign.