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Mexican charity hits snag – Legislative incentives needed

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Although many Mexican companies are willing to invest in aid programs for the poor, Mexican authorities often impede such efforts, La Reforma reports.

Alfonso Arceo, director of a mining company in Veracruz, approached local government offering to provide materials for new housing for poor farmers in the area.  The authorities showed no interest.

“In spite of people being willing to put in their labor and the desire of other companies to collaborate, the government still hasn’t taken its seat at the table,” Arceo told La Reforma.

Manuel Arango, honorary president of the Mexican Center for Philanthropy, believes that in spite of growing cooperation between business and government, there is still a lot of room for improvement.

“We need to create legislation that provides incentives for this kind of work,” Arango said.

Teresa Zorrilla of Ashoka, a firm that specializes in developing social programs, had a slightly different take.

She said government cooperation is the only way for a project to have the infrastructure it needs to succeed.

Nevertheless, she said, if a functionary has a party affiliation and is fighting to secure power, things can become twisted and conflicts can sidetrack the project

The best way to handle the situation, Zorrilla said, is to sign an agreement and then watch carefully to make sure that the agreement is fulfilled.

Such agreements have the additional benefit of making the process more transparent to everyone.

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