'No more corruption,' reads the sign. 'No more corruption,' reads the sign.

Government is corrupt but so are citizens

OECD study finds many Mexicans are prepared to pay bribes

Although Mexicans regard their government as “highly corrupt” they themselves accept having to pay bribes and avoid paying taxes and public transit fares, according to a study by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).


Integrity Review of Mexico. Taking a Stronger Stance Against Corruption found that 33% of those polled had paid bribes in education, law enforcement, medical and health services, police, permits, taxes and public services sectors.

It also found that bribery is far more commonplace in Mexico than in other OECD member countries.

Ten per cent of OECD respondents had bribed police officers during the last year, but in Mexico the figure was 60%. The OECD average for bribes paid to law enforcement was 10%. In Mexico it was 55%.

The OECD also estimated that Mexico government revenues are between 20% and 38% lower as a result of tax evasion.

Evading transit fares is also a common practice.

“Among the people of all OECD countries, Mexican citizens were the most in favor of avoiding paying public transit fares,” a practice the study calls free-riding.


The study remarked that “there exists a strong perception that the citizens of Mexico are apathetic with regard to corruption.”

Still, the people of Mexico have “emphatically” rejected a political and government system regarded as “extremely corrupt” that limits their possibilities for a better life.

Scandals involving prominent politicians have given rise to a demand for a major shift, continued the report, which said that in a 2015 poll, 70% of Mexican citizens stated they believed corruption to be widespread within government.

If the reforms enacted by the Mexican government are to be successfully implemented, “reverting a culture that accepts corruption and lack of integrity” is needed.

“As long as the prevailing social rules are those that tolerate corruption, government reforms will not be successful.”

The study explained that “the forward momentum behind the launch of the National Anti-Corruption System seeks to strengthen the resilience of institutions and public officials against corruption.”

“Nevertheless, when corruption happens between citizens and businesses, and when a society shows a high tolerance level toward corruption, the impact of such well-designed laws and public policies could be limited,” concluded the document.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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  • Garry Montgomery

    Sadly, basic corruption starts with the way the “laws” are written and enforced. When underpaid police accuse motorists of an offence they never committed and are threatened with the impounding of their vehicle in an undisclosed location, the knee-jerk reaction is to offer to settle the matter on the spot. The police know that and happily augment their meager salaries with free-will offerings from the masses living under police control.
    To fight the accusation is pointless leading to further frustration and expense.
    Start to eliminate corruption by paying police enough that there’s no need to falsely accuse knowing a bribe will be offered but if they do, a complaint can be filed and the police officer fired.
    Of course, the only drawback may be the imminent death of the innocent driver!
    Reform is essential . . .

    • WestCoastHwy

      Sorry Garry, it goes deeper than that. Please note that Mexico had the highest Aboriginal population in the American Continent. The Spanish conquistadors started what we see today. Before the Spanish, the culture was Non-Western and you can study that through Cultural Anthropology.

      • Garry Montgomery

        Nothing to be sorry about. Of course it goes deeper but the Spanish system of patronage, introduced by the Conquistadors continues with those in low-paying government position as they try to augment their pay with “donations”. The U.S. system starts at the top with the electoral process. The indigenous population in any conquered county has little or nothing to do with corruption as they’re just forced to go with the flow.
        Do you have a solution to the world’s corruption problem?

      • richardgrabman

        What does “aboriginal population” have to do with it? None of the indigenous American cultures were particularly known for western-style corruption, and — as anyone with even a passing knowledge of Mesoamerican history can tell you — the Mexica were particularly well-known for their strict honesty, punishing wron-doing officials much more seriously than others.

        Even if it were true that there was “corruption” in indigenous cultures, trying to make it a racial issue, something in the DNA is boyond contemptible.

        • WestCoastHwy

          richard I believe that you’ve miss my point. please read my most recent post, it may clarify where I’m coming from and going to.

  • EraGuera

    Although I reported the rampant corruption at the Roma Norte drivers license office, and have received emails and some interest from Finance offices online and the Anti-corruption hotline, nothing yet. And most appalling, Finance redirected me to a Miss Laura Lemus of SEMOVI ( Drivers License HQ) who responded to me: So yeah friend, lots of corruption yada, yada, yada and so? What do you want from me? For one, I am not her friend and the lack of professionalism is truly mind boggling.
    And, in a few words, even those supposed to be working on anti-corruption, who are not lowly government employees and do make a decent salary are apathetic and pathetic beings. Mexico continues to bleed out while government is corrupt from the top down, and the people’s lives go down the drain, no hope, no change… so very sad, and ironic that these very same people claim love with “Mexico Lindo y Querido” yet trash it, spit on it, crap on it… don’t really care for nuestro México.

  • 1stMate

    When people regard the majority of the people they look up to (their leaders) as corrupt, they tend to believe that’s just how it is, they may as well behave that way themselves. They won’t change until those they admire set the example.

  • K. Chris C.

    Would be hilarious if it weren’t so ignorant.

    The Mexican tyranny’s thefts, violence, and complicity in the Khazarians’ looting grift-machine are behind the impoverished of the Mexican people. The slide in morals is a symptom of this tyranny. The Mexican people are only treading water in this sewage of graft, violence, and plunder. Pushing their heads under with such nonsense that they are “corrupt” is a new low in ignorance.

    The observant can see a similar slide in morals and civility happening to America and Americans under the US tyranny occupation and Khazarian grift-machine plundering.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • Patrick Johnston

    After living in Mexico part time over the last ten years I have come to believe that to get something done, you have to pay, in Canada that is called paying taxes, In Mexico it is greasing the palm or graft. Until those in government offices; mayors, governors, etc quit ripping the public off this will not change, and I guess why should it?

  • SickofLiberalbs9999

    The consistent response I receive from Mexicans on their country’s culture of corruption and viloence is:
    “Oh, well, what do you expect, it’s Mexico, after all.”
    Much of the population seems resigned to the corruption, expects it, and has given up hope of any improvement.
    It’s hard to imagine a bright future for Mexico if Mexicans are willing to accept the current state of affairs as “normal”.

  • gypsyken

    Because corruption is endemic, people are often forced to participate in it, particularly, in my experience, with regard to traffic police. As another post indicates, when one is put in an impossible position–threatened to be left without transportation, for example–by a false police accusation, there seems to be no practical solution except to participate in the corruption. The end of corruption, therefore, must begin with the government that fosters it. Citizens cannot end it by refusing to participate in it. That the government can do this is indicated, I think, by the lack of corruption in the immigration agency, INM. Signs in INM offices have stated, in effect, that bribes are unnecessary and prohibited, and during my many contacts with INM officials over 23 years, I never encountered a request for one. Although I have heard of requests for bribes from customs (Aduana) officers, I encountered only once upon entering Mexico an officer who requested one, and when I indicated that he should simply proceed with his inspection, he did not persist. So I think it is possible for the government to end corruption, and I think that it should begin with the police.

    • Garry Montgomery

      Yes, the Aduana is completely corrupt, locked into the patronage system while the INM is about as fair as things can get. There must be a pay difference or an “opportunity” difference.

      • gypsyken

        I don’t know about a difference in compensation, but expats surely want to accomplish their immigration status as much as they want to get their possessions through Aduana, so I think that the opportunity for bribery could exist in INM, and I have heard that at one time it did. It therefore seems to me that there is a difference in attitude that is positive on the part of INM employees, and that would suggest that change could be accomplished in other agencies.

  • rangerrandy

    try this one….your stopped driving by a transit policeman for driving 70 kph in 60 kph zone. policeman volunteers the fine is… say 1000 pesos’. Both of you know if you offer him half that amount, that’s it, you drive off. (I’ve gotten by with paying even less,) Solution? lower the fines to a reasonable number, pay the cops much bettertheaten and give incentives to both citizen and police officer a decent alternative to corruption

    • SickofLiberalbs9999

      Sounds good – but there’s a slight problem.
      If citizens pay more fines to the city or state, that just adds to the public funds that the governor, senator, attorney general, or mayor will eventually steal. Do we really need to add to those “retirement accounts” of public officials in Mexico? Better to give some money to the cop on the motorcycle than the bigger crooks.

      • rangerrandy

        Uh….SickofLiberalbs9999, (names cute btw, ‘cept for all the 9’s), if you finish reading the short comment i offered, you’d see that I mentioned about the corruption in govt. offices and private business needs to be addressed. My point about the transient cops is somewhat different from the tip you give the office personnel to move your business along and the blatant theft from higher ups.

        • SickofLiberalbs9999

          I don’t know about you, but after spending lots of time in Mexico, I cannot conceive of a realistic way to solve the country’s corruption and violence – it’s so sad.

  • WestCoastHwy

    Mexico is a United States of Half breeds more or less, some States more than others under Ejido Law. Under the Mexican Constitution most Half Breeds and Aborigines are without representation. I myself am more than a half breed (more of a 16th breed) and not Mexican. I’m currently a U.S. of a Little Part of America passport holder but am looking into options.

    National Eccentricity can make understanding a concept in one country compared to another, incomprehensible……where as Corruption is actually business as normal; when Globalization happens (which is at it’s peak today) these misunderstood concepts become ignorance. There lies the question, should we demand others to be like us?

  • WestCoastHwy

    It seems my excellent post was rejected; I will have to re-word it and try again.

    The America’s are made up of ethnically diverse people that include Aboriginals, hybrids and all others. National Eccentricity is the process of one of these people seeing the others through their own interpretation of their own institutions. It gets even more complicated with radicals, centralist, extremists, leftist, Donald Trump, and all others; who’s institutions are and are not corrupted is in the eye of the beholder.

    I myself would be considered multiplexed as I am more than hybrid of which allows me to, as they say, “think out of the box,” but truly American. I mentioned both John Lennon and Martin Luther king in my rejected post of which I may have blatantly used the word free a little cruelly. Never the less, the question remains, who’s to say what is and what isn’t corruption?

    If I win….I say it’s not corrupt, if I lose….it’s corrupted, is one way that it can be approached. As with any institution, it’s all about mediation and interpretation of whether it is or isn’t corrupted. Through these means there is always an end.

    Finally, if we all had the same Messiah (maybe this is why my post was rejected) then homogeneously we can all come to the same interpretation but even his words were written from a National Eccentric person and can’t be agreed upon as of today!

    To conclude, whether it’s the sheep or the Shepherd, the Wolf lurks near by and is always hungry; logically speaking, ultimate power always corrupts!

  • Why should it be considered “corrupt” not to pay taxes to the “corrupt”?

  • Henry Wilson

    what is the alternative? to survive they have to play along with a system that has been in effect since cortez first landed 500 years ago. the only other choice is violent revolution. start having some of these govt. “wise guys” swinging from a few lamp posts and trees and that will change things in a hurry.