Ask a Mexican

A new report found that, among 20 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, Mexico was the worst when it came to bribery for access to basic public services (school, healthcare, utilities). This week we asked: Are you surprised by this? Have you ever been asked to pay a bribe for something?

askamex_6.JPGJose Ramirez, 25, cook

No, I’m not surprised. It’s a problem with deep roots in our country, and has happened for generations before us. Police, government and citizens are all involved, we are all part of the problem. I have changed my way of thinking about bribes, but the hassle of paying is too much for a simple ticket and it takes a long time to sort out, so I take the easy way out and bribe.

 

Daisy Santos, 36, human resource manager

I am not surprised at all. This is our everyday life in Mexico. Things are getting worse, violence is growing exponentially, the government is selling itself to the highest bidder, people do whatever they want. Transit police have asked me for money, and I’m not going to either confirm or deny giving it but I’d much rather do things right.

 

Ignacio Rodriguez, 30, balloon artist

I’m not surprised. Unfortunately, in Mexico corruption is what rules. My ethics do not let me give in to corruption, I’d rather work and do things right.

 

Gabino Flores, 18, steward

Not really, I have seen corruption since I was born. I know policeman take advantage of you when they see you walking around drunk. My friends have told me they were asked for money to avoid jail. They usually take whatever they see in your wallet.

 

Zeire Pacheco, 22, promotions girl

I’m not at all surprised. We all make Mexico what it is, and we have been taught since we were little that bribes are normal. When we grow up we realize its easier to give 10 dollars to a police man instead of going to pay a small fine at the station. I have not given money, but as a pretty girl, I have charmed my way out of getting tickets.

 

Carlos Murillo, 30, general manager

Corruption is Mexico’s reality, so I am not surprised. I have been asked to give a bribe by transit police, and the amount is usually negotiated; the choice is to go to the transit office and pay a 50 dollar fine versus buy dinner for an officer. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious what we should choose.