Access to public information contributes to the strengthening of democratic institutions and confidence in the political system, of particular importance where government calculi have traditionally favored secrecy rather than transparency. This article compares recent access initiatives in Mexico and Argentina to provide understanding of the forces working to promote or discourage policy adoption. Using an institutional perspective, data from interviews with legal and media analysts, media professionals, public officials and members of non-government organizations were examined, and relevant literature was analyzed. In Mexico, key pressures in the form of press coverage and political opposition were necessary to push the initiative through Congress. In Argentina, such influences were largely absent.
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