ses20_corruption

ses20_corruption - 17.55 Introduction to Latin American...

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17.55, Introduction to Latin American Studies, Fall 2006 Prof. Chappell Lawson Session 20: One-Party Rule, Democratization, and Corruption in Mexico Corruption in Mexico…and what to do about it On June 24, 1995, a private plane carrying Hector Luís "El Güero" Palma, capo of Sinaloa drug cartel, crashed in Nayarit state. Palma was subsequently detained in Guadalajara, along with the thirty-one agents of Mexico’s Federal Judicial Police then serving as his bodyguards. Independent media, including Reforma newspaper, soon revealed that Palma had paid millions of dollars annually for political protection and that the federal Attorney General's office and National Institute for the Combat of Drugs had known the location of his residence for over a year. 1 Example is from Mexico; could use examples from a number of countries in the developing world –Nigeria, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, China, Thailand, or Indonesia. Or England in the 1700s, Chicago in the 1930s, Italy in the 1980s, or Miami today. Louisiana in 1990s NOLA police o Very good at controlling vice, including prostitution o Not so good at actually preventing violent crime o Whole force basically disintegrates after Katrina Edwin Edwards o suitcase full of cash o “The only thing that will prevent me from winning the election is being caught with a live boy or a dead girl” Anecdote about officials in East Asia and Africa I am picking on Mexico today for three reasons. 1. I actually know something about Mexico 2. I know corruption is a tremendous problem. For an American, it is something very noticeable, and it really takes getting used to 3. (Unlike Italy or Miami) Mexico is actually trying to do something about it So how much corruption is there? Mexicans are especially cynical about their government Communist Party founder Lombardo Toledano (1952): “We live in muck. The bite, the stickup, the final ploughing, the stuffing, the little sip, a string of names that have been invented to describe this immoral process. Justice has to be bought, first from the policeman, then from the prosecuting attorney, then from the judge, then from the mayor, then from the Congressman, then from the governor, then from the minister…” (Cited in Enrique Krauze, Mexico: Biography of Power ) Ruling party famously corrupt From 1929 until 2000, PRI rule Tuxtla airport example On February 23, 1993, Mexican financier Antonio Ortiz-Mena hosted a private dinner party for President Carlos Salinas and some thirty Mexican executives. Businessmen invited to the dinner, many of whom were prominent beneficiaries of the Salinas 1 Roberto Zamarripa, “El Güero Palma Protegido en Sonora desde 1993,” Reforma , June 30, 1995; Irma Salas, Cayetano Frías, and Gerardo Román, “Detienen por Complices a Funcionarios de la PGR,” Reforma , June 25, 1995.
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