Animal Politico, a political Mexican website, has decided to create a new column called 'El Sabueso', or 'the Scent Hound', to check pieces of information given by politicians.

Political sentences are ranked in six categories: true, almost true, impossible to check, deceitful, false, and ridiculous. Prior to giving a verdict, journalists engage in a thorough study involving the targetted politicians and outside experts. Graphics and official statistics reports are provided by the journalists to analyze a given information.

Seven Steps to Confirm or Deny an Information Expressed by a Political Figure:

  1. Select a sentence pronounced by a politician considering the author's background and topic

  2. Ask the author to provide his or her source

  3. Check the veracity of the source including the dates

  4. Do the dates match other numbers and experts investigations?

  5. The sentence is studied in its larger social, economic, and temporal context

  6. The sentence is confirmed, counterbalanced or refuted

  7. A verdict is given among the six categories (true, almost true, impossible to check, deceitful, false, and ridiculous)

Three statements have been carefully reviewed by Animal Politico since January, 28th.

The newspaper recently published a column about Veracruz governor saying "we no longer talk about murders and organized crime, but petty thefts in a convenience store". El Sabueso contradicts the governor with official statistic reports. According to Animal Politico, Veracruz is the third Mexican state with the most kidnappings. Carjacking and burglary were twice more frequent than petty thefts in Veracruz in 2014.

This project originated after the mounting skepticism and corruption charges towards the political elite. Indeed, the case of the 43 disappeared students along with the discovery of bodies found in a common grave fuelled a feeling of anger and disgust with the concerned politicians.

El Sabueso is a welcomed initiative in a country riddled with the law of silence and shady agreements. Transparency International ranked Mexico as the 72nd most corrupted country in the world. We observe vast differences in education level. OECD notes: "At 44% the proportion of 25-34 year-olds with at least an upper secondary qualification is almost twice that of 55-64 year-olds with the same level of attainment".

Therefore, El Sabueso paves the way for an improved democratic process. While 64% of Mexicans don't have a secondary education as reported by OECD, El Sabueso bridges some of this gap to make more enlightened citizens.