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Transparencia  
 
22/05/2011 | Bribery in Mexico - A state-by-state guide to graft

The Economist Staff

“I AM confiscating your driving licence. You can collect it at the police station on Monday, but you will have to wait all day, maybe longer. Shall we settle the matter here?” Your correspondent is by no means the only person to have been approached for a bribe in Mexico (he declined).

 

“I AM confiscating your driving licence. You can collect it at the police station on Monday, but you will have to wait all day, maybe longer. Shall we settle the matter here?” Your correspondent is by no means the only person to have been approached for a bribe in Mexico (he declined). Households paid around 200m backhanders to companies and public officials last year, according to a  report published on May 10th by the Mexican branch of Transparency International, an anti-corruption outfit, which we have plotted as a map (above) in this week’s print edition. At 165 pesos ($14.10) per bribe, officials are charging 20% more for their corrupt services than they did in 2007.

The survey quizzed 15,000 homes on whether they had paid bribes in the course of completing 35 tasks, from installing a phone line (2% had) to running a street stall (23% had). Mexico is only averagely corrupt by Latin American standards. But corruption varied widely by state: if stopped by traffic police in Tamaulipas, nine times out of ten motorists were expected to cough up; in Quintana Roo, “only” a quarter of such stops result in palms being greased. Overall, the most corrupt places were Mexico City and the adjacent state of Mexico, whereas the cleanest was the peninsular state of Baja California Sur.

Not coincidentally, they are respectively the most- and least-densely populated parts of the country. Eduardo Bohórquez, head of Transparency’s Mexico office, reasons that in over-populated places there is excess demand for public services, which allows officials to auction off the scarce resources they manage. The poor are especially likely to be targeted for demands for bribes and acquiesce to them, he says.

It is not all bad news. Since Transparency’s first survey in 2001, it has become easier to access government aid programmes without having to pay people off, which Mr Bohórquez believes reflects a strengthening of the country’s democracy. The postal service and electricity market are cleaner, thanks to reforms in both sectors. Most federally-run programmes have been getting less corrupt. The mixed performance of the states has no obvious link to which party runs them.

But overall, things are little better than they were a decade ago. Traffic police, the worst offenders, have got even greedier. Hospitals are more open to speeding up appointments with a little financial encouragement; more school certificates are being bought than before. Justice is still for sale: nearly a quarter of those who had dealt with state prosecutors said they had paid to influence their case. Transparency reckons that the public paid some 32 billion pesos in bribes last year. As long as policemen and judges are for sale, the cost to society will run much deeper.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 


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22/03/2009|
27/01/2009|
27/01/2009|
27/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
11/01/2009|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
23/11/2008|
23/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House