Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- autonomous / ɔˈtɒn ə məs / (adj) – having the power to act, do things, and make decisions on one’s own
Other government offices have no power over autonomous agencies.
- ill-gotten / ˈɪlˈgɒt n / (adj) – gained from crimes or other illegal acts
The former president’s ill-gotten lands were given back to farmers.
- convert / kənˈvɜrt / (v) – to transform something into another form
We converted our old house into a restaurant.
- underprivileged / ˈʌn dərˈprɪv ə lɪdʒd / (n) – having little or no access to money, education, benefits, etc.
The president created programs to help the underprivileged gain better opportunities.
- predecessor / ˈprɛd əˌsɛs ər / (n) – someone who held an office or job before another person
The new manager asked for some advice from her predecessor.
Read the text below.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has announced his plans to fight widespread corruption in the country.
In the past years, corruption-related crimes had been widespread in Mexico. A 2017 report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development stated that corruption had been negatively affecting the country’s overall economic activity. Another report that was published by an independent business consultancy firm stated that bribing authorities had been a common practice among companies in the country. Anti-corruption laws were also not fully enforced in Mexico because some criminals reportedly work with government officials.
According to López Obrador, his administration is already drafting a law to create an autonomous institute for returning ill-gotten wealth recovered from corrupt government officials and criminals. Dubbed the “Robin Hood” institute, it will be in charge of converting seized assets into public property.
López Obrador did not give any details regarding the total value of the assets involved and how the institute would hand them to the public. However, he said that one of the roles of the new agency is to turn over seized buildings to municipalities so that these properties can be made into schools, medical institutions, or senior care centers.
In addition to anti-corruption policies, López Obrador has also laid out several projects for the welfare of the underprivileged and the elderly since his election in December 2018. He has also cut the salaries of government employees to save public funds.
Moreover, the new president sold his predecessor’s private plane as part of his anti-corruption plan. He also turned Los Pinos, Mexico’s official presidential home, into a museum that the public can visit for free.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
• Do you think the creation of the “Robin Hood” institute is a good idea? Why or why not?
• What do you think are the possible challenges that this kind of institute will face? Discuss.
• Do you think it is acceptable for public officials to have a luxurious lifestyle? Discuss.
• In your opinion, what important values should a public official have (e.g. leadership, compassion)? Explain.