Shannon K. O'Neil: Latin America's Moment » Blog Archive » Mexico’s Corrosive Corruption: "Mexicans pay some $2.5 billion a year in bribes – no small change. These costs hit the poor the hardest – a regressive tax if ever there was one. While some federal programs – including the postal service and utilities – have been cleaned up; across the board the numbers aren’t improving. Compared to 2007, if anything things are getting worse, with the amounts charged rising ahead of inflation – today, the average fine is $14, up from $12 in 2007.
This reality makes life for many Mexicans more difficult. A big cut of their hard earned pesos goes to graft. But it also importantly makes the fight against insecurity and violence all the harder. If law enforcement officials often (if not almost always) prey on citizens in these smaller ways, how can the population trust them enough to work together on the bigger threats to their communities and country?"