Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mexican Bribery Inflation

The cost of bribery went up in Mexico. No, not the penalty, the actual money paid. Last year, Mexicans paid $2.58 BILLION in bribes, 42% more than 2 years earlier.

In December 2007, Transparency Mexico, a non-profit group, surveyed 16,000 people face-to-face who fessed up to paying 197 million bribes during the year compare with 115 million bribes in 2005. That's a whole bunch of bribes in a population of 105 million, almost two bribes per citizen. The total amounted to about 8% of a family's annual income.

The good news for Mexicans is that, though the number of bribes has grown, the per bribe average cost has gone down from $17 to $13. Bribery exists on a continuum from tipping the waiter to greasing the palms of police and judges, and about 10% of all government transactions involve bribes.

Officials say the problem is that people don't refuse to pay bribes. The government has run advertisements encouraging Mexicans to report bribery and corruption. The 6th most common bribe reported was paid to police investigators to ensure crime reports are filed.

At one time, working illegal jobs in the U.S. was the only way Mexicans could possibly afford paying the bribes. This year remittances from America to Mexico, the 2nd largest income source, have decreased 5.9% to $1.65 billion between March 2007 and March 2008 because of the law enforcement activities of Homeland Security and the anti-illegal immigrant employment laws in many States. Whatever Mexicans choose to do, it will not include cracking down on the expensive national crime spree.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.


Gayle said...

Sheesh! They have to pay off bribes so they come here because there aren't any jobs in Mexico. Just wonderful! (please note extreme sarcasm.)

Mike's America said...

Or maybe they come here to avoid paying the bribes. Maybe if we start taking bribes here they will go home.

Indigo Red said...

According to a report this week, Gayle, Mexican Federales pick-up thousands of illegal aliens from Guatamalans working in Mexico doing the most menial and lowest paying jobs. Apparently, there are jobs that even Mexican won't do.

I think they continue to pay the bribes through remittances. Bribery is such an old custom in Hispanic culture I doubt very much anything will change the practice. It's just a part of life.