Bribery in Mexico

During the 1960’s I drove to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, just across from Laredo, Texas, because some friends from high school had gone there the year before and extolled the various pleasures there. I stay about 6 minutes, which impressed the border guards.

I was an east-end boy and had seen quite a bit by the time I ventured to the town, but nothing I had experienced before prepared me for Nuevo Laredo. Being by myself, I knew this was not the place to be alone.

The Economist has a graph on bribery in Mexico:

Mexico corruption driving, from the Economist magazine

Mexico corruption driving, from the Economist magazine

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.

Full story in the Economist magazine here.

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