What causes corruption in Latin America(specifially in Mexico)?

I am an American. I live in Mexico, I have since 1995. If you permit me the honor of summarizing a belief all Mexican people(at least 99%) have about their problems: The number one cause of Mexico´s problems is their culture. Corruption exists in some genetic sense of their very being. Mexican people would not object to your saying they have a corruption gene. They will laugh nervously, grit their teeth and turn their eyes up to look for some relief from the sky, and quietly say "it´s true". They believe(more than 99%) Americans are different. They are more honest, collaborative, they see the big picture of society as a whole. This quality in Americans is also somehow in their cultural genes. These beliefs are expressed in any conversation (>99%) about politics or economics you may ever have with a Mexican.One particular example is when I share your history lesson of FDR´s steps to get the US out of the great depression. I ask "don´t you think that we should raise taxes here? establish a maximum wage? use that money for the betterment of all society?" the typical response is amazingly like clock work. For the first two minutes they look again at the sky and say "yes, that really is a great idea. We should do this. Some people have too much money", then, inexplicably, the timer sounds and their tone changes. "But this is a good idea for the US,but not for Mexico" stupefied I ask "why?" they say "because we are corrupt in Mexico. If the government obtained all that tax money, you know it will end up in the pockets of the senators and the presidents. This works in the US because the government in honest" I would love to hear you address these anxieties of Mexican people. I think your message has so many possibilities here, but it also has to address certain extra worries. my email is: [email protected] my name is Carl Dillard

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  • carl dillard
    commented 2017-03-03 00:56:07 -0500
    Are you saying with this quote that hostility toward the government has been part of grassroots heroism in Mexico for a long time? That sounds like a very plausible idea. But there are lots of counterexamples.
    and it is interesting to watch how the public perception of Andres Manuel López Obrador(who is recognized hero of the left now) has changed over the past ten years. It has gone from messiah for the people, to up-and-down depending on who you talk to. The message campaign from all the media sources is that he will replicate Hugo Chávez(who is dreaded).
    I hope Professor Wolff directs some of his analysis to what is happening in Mexico, and specifically in terms of the notion of “corruption” as it exists in the fears of many many Mexican people. I think most of us tuned in to Democracy at Work would like to see the people start to take more control over their governments so they will act a lot more. It is frustrating to see that in Mexico the will of the people to force the government to act is blocked by their own fears of it.
  • Christopher Kavanaugh
    commented 2017-03-01 21:19:26 -0500
  • carl dillard
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-03-01 15:13:40 -0500