Govt corruption on the rise in Mexico

Updated: 2011-05-11 09:53
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MEXICO CITY - Government corruption has been on the rise in Mexico since 2007, with 16 federal agencies getting improved while 16 others either staying the same or becoming worse, a graft watchdog said.

Now slightly more than 10 percent of all public service requests made in Mexico involve some sort of bribery, Transparencia Mexicana said in its 2010 National Index of Corruption and Good Governance released on Tuesday.

Among the 15,300 households surveyed by the watchdog, 10.3 percent say they had paid a bribe to process or speed up the paperwork necessary for requesting a public service. Others reported being asked for bribes after violating traffic rules.

Small bribes, known as "mordidas," were paid on more than 200 million occasions last year, the survey found, while such corruption represented the equivalent of 14 percent of the average household income.

The watchdog estimated that the total economic cost of corruption cost Mexico 2.77 billion US dollars in 2010.