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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Packing for a vacation in Mexico

The AP, April 16:
Mexicans spent a whopping $2.58 billion in bribes in 2007, some 42 percent more than they doled out just two years ago, according to a poll released Wednesday.

The survey, conducted by the nonprofit group Transparency Mexico, showed that 197 million bribes were paid nationwide in 2007 — compared to 115 million in 2005.
By these numbers, people in Mexico spent 8% of their incomes on bribes!

When does a traveler pay a bribe?
Smaller bribes include those shelled out to avoid traffic tickets or pay off informal "parking attendants," private citizens who block off sections of public streets and force drivers to "tip" them for giving them a space. The attendants, in turn, pay police for the right to operate...

Bribes move about 10 percent of all government transactions — including those to obtain construction licenses, vehicle inspection stickers and street-vending permits.

Among the top 10 most frequent bribes people reported paying were to city tanker trucks that deliver drinking water to homes in poorer neighborhoods. Others paid to get their trash collected, their goods passed through customs and their cars out of police lots after they were towed.
The good news? It works out to only $13 per bribe.

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