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last modified Sep 11, 2013 12:00 AM

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Mexico

In Juan Gabriel Gutierrez Orozco v. Mexican Petroleum, the Mexican Federal Access to Information Institute (“IFAI”) ordered disclosure of (1) the names and addresses of liquefied petroleum gas (“LPG”) distributors that had purchased LPG from Pemex, a state company in charge of all exploitation and first sale of such products, and (2) Pemex’s sales volumes.  Article 19 of the Mexican ATI Law allows submitters of confidential information to designate the information as such and states that the government may disclose the confidential information “only with the express consent of the individual to whom that confidential information belongs.” However, the confidential information may be withheld on these grounds only if it falls within one of the statutory exemptions.  With respect to names and addresses of LPG distributors, because LPG distribution was licensed by the federal government, which was required to make public its list of licensees under the Access Law, the IFAI determined that the information should be disclosed.  With respect to sales volumes, the IFAI recognized that specific sales information “might be of utility” to the distributors’ competitors and that Pemex had taken steps to maintain confidentiality of the information.  But because petroleum is national patrimony under the Mexican Constitution and because Pemex’s aggregate sales data are indicative of its use of public resources, the IFAI concluded that disclosure of such aggregate data “would contribute to the objectives of the ATI Law to enhance the transparency and accountability of public administration” (Juan Gabriel Gutierrez Orozco v. Mexican Petroleum, File No. 2717/06 (2006)). This case is also summarized under Commercial Secrets: Mexico.

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Venezuela

The 2003 Law Against Corruption (Ley contra la Corrupción) establishes in its Articles 8, 9 and 10 the right of the citizens to access information regarding the administration of the public patrimony of state organs[1]

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[1] Report of the OAS Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Chapter IV Report on Access to Information in the Hemisphere, 2003.