By Richard N. Baldwin T./HispanicVista.com
A friend of mine where I work tells a joke about Mexican corruption: “Did you hear that
Of course, that demonstrates that there are two sides to corruption: the briber and the bribee. And who is the guiltiest?
To listen to any news source in the
But to look at this in a little depth, remember that I stated recently that
In order to boost English migration to the colonies, a number of tricks were used. The penal system was altered for higher and stiffer penalties. When you were found guilty of something you had a choice: 20 or 30 years or get a paid for trip to the colonies (one way). In addition was the indentured servitude way to finance the trip yourself. What this amounted to was a legal form of slavery. The terms of your debt were constructed to make it difficult, if not possible to ever repay the loan. But in all of this, they all brought something with them that marked the
The colonization of México by
The Spanish brought Roman Code law without the niceties of the Magna Carta. Later this developed into the Napoleonic Code, which codified the Roman Code law, but was designed to perpetrate the rule of a dictator. But, as happens many times, an imported culture tends to freeze while the originating land continues to develop and change while the new country remains as before. So was the case with the Mexican legal system. While
Another example of imported cultural values is that in the colonial days, civil servants were paid at a very low rate. But it was expected that those desiring services contribute to those providing the service an additional “fee”. Why should someone without a dog have to be taxed to pay for the dog license bureau? In modern times this concept is absurd, but the thinking continues and is now known as the mordida, the “little bite”. While many, if not most of our government services are straight forward, our police system has yet to join the 21st century. They are underpaid, under trained and at the State and local levels, totally ineffective.
I remember the Dallas Morning News sending a reporter to the
At the federal level there are ongoing efforts to correct this. Even to forming a new police training facility and gradually raising the pay levels. But México is a federal republic and the federal government is limited by the constitution on how much direct control they can have at the local levels. Also, one of the first acts the new president Calderón made was to raise the pay level of the Mexican army substantially.
I hope that you didn’t mind the history lesson, but I thought it would be good to put some of these things into prospective. The objective is to show some of the subtitle differences between our two countries.
My next column will be devoted to comparisons between México and the