45 percent bribe-seekers in Mexico police officials


New York : A vast majority – up to 45 percent – of the demands for bribes in Mexico come from police officials, says a report.

Support TwoCircles

“An overwhelming 85 percent of all bribe demands in Mexico were made by persons deemed to be government officials under the (US) Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” says the 2010 BRIBEline Mexico Report, by US-based TRACE International.

Of the 85 percent, police emerge as the “No. 1 source of bribe demands, representing 45 percent of all bribes demanded … with national-level government officials a distant second at 12 percent,” the report said.

Another 10 percent of bribe requests came from state-level officials, while judges and other court personnel accounted for four percent.

Two percent of reported bribe requests came from officials of Mexico’s ruling National Action Party.

The report is based on anonymous tips reported to BRIBEline’s website by 151 people between July 2007 and January 2010.

More than 55 percent of the participants in the survey said requests for bribes had been recurrent. In 80 percent of the cases, the people paid bribes 20 times within a year, while 15 percent said that they paid bribes more than 100 times in a single year.

“The value of the bribes demanded in Mexico was relatively modest: 65 percent were for amounts less than $5,000. However, 10 percent of reported bribe demands were estimated to be for amounts greater than $10,000, with four percent of all bribe requests demanding more than $100,000,” the report said.

Almost half of the people surveyed reported having been victims of abusive demands, including those made in exchange for avoiding personal harm of some sort or damage to business interests, receiving a service to which the bribed person had a right in a timely way or receiving payment for services already provided.

“The general profile of bribe demands in Mexico that emerges from this report is one of extortionate and repetitive demands for cash made by government officials,” TRACE said.

TRACE president Alexandra Wrage said that the report gives concrete information about the people who are requesting bribes in Mexico, how frequently such requests are made and what the bribe seekers hope to achieve. She, however, said that “frequent demands for small amounts of cash are very difficult to track and properly record on a company’s books.”