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The PACMA is a group of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and environmental care projects, works and actions, to promote sustainable development, as well as strengthen relations between communities and oil and gas (O&G) companies in order to obtain and extend the Social License to Operate (Licencia Social de Operación “LSO”). The LSO refers to the acceptance of oil and gas companies and their CSR-related projects supporting local communities. Obtaining an LSO is essential  for companies to avoid social conflicts and improve their reputation.

Implications for PEMEX contractors

The PACMA guiding document states that the program’s provisions shall be obligatory for PEMEX suppliers or contractors, whose contracts meet, among others, the following requirements: (A) Contracts implemented onshore, provided that:

(i) The amount is equal to or higher than 100 million Mexican Pesos (USD 6.55 Million) and,

(ii) The contractual term is one year or more.

(B) Contracts implemented offshore provided that:

(i) The amount is equal to higher than 300 million Mexican Pesos (USD 19.66 Million)

(ii) The contractual term is one year or more.

(C) For leases or acquisition of platforms and “jack-ups”, companies are required to contribute 1 percent of the amount of the contract.


The contribution to PACMA projects represents a new obligation for every PEMEX contractor that complies with the stated requirements. PEMEX is legally entitled to ask its contractors to comply with the provisions established in the guiding document, and early evidence suggests that PEMEX intends to rigorously enforce the requirement. In addition to imposing potential new costs to operating in Mexico, the new contribution requirement enhances compliance risk for companies operating in the Oil & Gas industry in Mexico by creating a new tier of obligatory third party contributions.  Companies subject to the PACMA contribution requirement should take steps to ensure appropriate controls are in place to mitigate compliance risk associated with the program, by, for example:

  • ensuring transparency in contribution commitments in a written contract or agreement;
  • ensuring contribution recipients are transparent and appropriate due diligence is conducted to ensure contributions go to bona fide projects or recipients;
  • ensuring any contributions not personally benefiting any officials, including Pemex employees;
  • ensuring any contributions not made in exchange for any business benefit or advantage; and
  • ensuring any commitments are in line with PACMA requirements to avoid later allegations that contributions were excessive and intended to obtain a business advantage.

Implementing well-tailored controls and procedures can allow companies to formulate charitable giving programs that minimize compliance risk while maximizing the goodwill that accompanies good corporate citizenship and an improved relationship with PEMEX.


Reagan Demas has significant experience working on behalf of companies and investors in emerging markets and high risk jurisdictions. He has managed major legal compliance investigations for a variety of Fortune 500 companies and negotiated settlements before the US Department of Justice, US Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal and state regulatory entities, obtaining declinations in a number of matters. He has also conducted risk assessments and due diligence in a variety of legal compliance matters for companies across industries, and has worked on the ground evaluating partnerships, investments and other business opportunities worldwide. Reagan has written and spoken extensively on emerging compliance trends, ethics, corruption and doing business in Africa. In 2019, Reagan was selected as a BTI Client Service All Star by corporate counsel in recognition of being a leader in superior client service.


Benjamín Torres-Barrón leads Baker McKenzie's Energy, Mining & Infrastructure Practice Group in Mexico. Mr. Torres-Barrón is listed as a recommended lawyer by Who’s Who Legal for oil, gas, and project finance in Mexico and was named by Chambers Latin America as one of the country's leading lawyers in the energy and natural resources practice. For several years, he has been acknowledged by the magazine Petróleo & Energía as one of the 100 leaders in Mexico's energy industry. He is a professor of the Master’s Degree in Energy and Sustainability Law at Universidad Autonoma de Nuevo Leon and of the Diploma Degree in Energy at Universidad Autonoma de Ciudad Juarez.

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