Will I need to bribe?
No, Mexican authorities are not as corrupt as thought. But if you a requested to pay for a bribe, we recommend you not to pay it and to contact an honest lawyer to get what you have the right to get, without exposing yourself to bribe punishments in Mexico or your country of origin.
To start talking about this topic, it is necessary to define what corruption is.
The most accepted definition for its simplicity is the one adopted by Transparency International: “Corruption is the abuse of public power for private benefit.”
Corruption is considered a crime in Mexico. Bribery, extortion, the use of public money for private purposes, are examples of government corruption.
Corruption has multiple causes. These include: excessive discretionary power of public officials to make decisions, impunity against acts of corruption, concentration of power, national and international bribery, too low salaries of public officials, lack of accountability for the use of public money, low efficiency in public administration. In a recent analysis of global corruption, Transparency International notes that corruption is more pervasive in countries where big money can flow freely into electoral campaigns and where governments listen only to the voices of wealthy or well-connected individuals
Corruption can affect to a lesser or greater degree the development of a country since in the private sector it increases the cost of projects and business activities. For example, authorities in certain countries may ask an investor for a bribe to grant him an environmental permit or a construction license for the development of a project. In that case, we recommend that you do not agree to pay a bribe as this is considered a crime in Mexico and in your country, in addition to the fact that the permission granted may be apocryphal or illegal and therefore null.
Now, you as an investor will surely ask yourself which countries have high rates of corruption in the world?
In this regard, we can anticipate that Mexico is not among the countries with the highest corruption rates. To answer our question, it should be considered that there are various organizations and measurements carried out around the world to determine corruption rates by country. Transparency International is one of the most prestigious organizations in conducting this type of study, so to answer our question we will take into account the studies published by it.
For this we will refer to the Corruption Perceptions Index and to the Global Corruption Barometer, both published by Transparency International; so it is convenient to know their differences.
The Corruption Perceptions Index compiles the perception of informants who can make international or cross-country comparisons; businessmen; experts in country risk or in policies for the effective control of corruption.
The Global Corruption Barometer records the opinions of citizens regarding corruption and their direct experience of corruption in their country.
Let’s now take a look to both studies.
Let’s start with the 2019 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which is based on surveys and studies to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries, giving each one a rating that ranges from zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
From the 2019 CPI analysis, we can see that among the first 15 countries rated as very clean are: New Zealand and Denmark with a rating of 87; Finland with 86; Switzerland, Singapore and Sweden with 85; Norway with 84; Holland with 82; Luxembourg and Germany with 80; Iceland with 78; and, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Austria with a 77 rating.
The United States of America is in the 23rd place of the IPC with a rating of 69. Below countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay that have 71; from Japan that has 73; from Estonia and Ireland that have 74; from Belgium that has 75, and from Hong Kong that has 76, ranking 16th on the list.
Among the 16 countries rated as highly corrupt are: Somalia which is at the bottom of the list with 9 rating; South Sudan with 12; Syria with 13; Yemen with 15; Afghanistan, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea and Venezuela with 16; North Korea with 17; Haiti, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Libya and Guinea Bissau with 18; Burundi, Congo and Turkmenistan with a 19 rating.
In the 2019 CPI, Mexico has a score of 29, finding a better index than countries such as Russia, Paraguay, Nigeria, Honduras and Guatemala, among others.
Although from 2014 to 2018, Mexico’s CPI rating fell during all those years, it is important to consider that in 2019 that decline was stopped, increasing one point in comparisson with 2018.
Now, to understand more about the situation in the country, it is important to acknowledge the data from the 2019 edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) published by Transparency International and Mexican Transparency.
In the 2019 edition of the GCB, the number of respondents who consider that corruption increased was 44%, when in 2017 it was 61%, which means fewer people currently perceive an increase in corruption in Mexico now.
21% of the surveyed population considered that corruption had decreased in the last 12 months. In contrast to the 2017 GCB in which only 6% of respondents reported a decrease in corruption.
Regarding the opinion of the respondents on the performance of the current Government, the respondents were asked: “How well or bad would you say that the current government is managing the fight against corruption?” In 2019, 61% of respondents indicated that the current government is acting “well” or “very well” in the fight against corruption. In contrast to the year 2017 in which only 24% thought that way. The difference between the previous government and the current one is 37 percentage points.
In this context, it appears from the 2019 GCB that the perception is that corruption in Mexico has been decreasing under the new government administration. This may be due to the fact that currently the new administration has announced a frontal fight against corruption and is implementing government regulations and policies to eradicate it, announcing that any public official who carries out acts of corruption will be prosecuted and ceased.
One of the fundamental weapons that the Government has to eradicate corruption is the National Anticorruption System, which is a set of laws that, beginning with the General Law of the National Anticorruption System, aim to guarantee economic, cultural and legal growth in the country, with strong anti-corruption policies.
The National Anti-Corruption System coordinates various authorities from all levels of government (federal, state or municipal) in order to prevent, investigate and punish corruption. This, among other things, provides greater security and legal certainty for individuals and their investments.
Notwithstanding the efforts of the new administration to eradicate corruption, it could be possible that an individual is affected by corrupt acts of some authority.
If you are affected by an authority corrupt action, such as the request for a bribe, we recommend you not to turn it in and contact an honest lawyer who can advise you immediately.
If you require more information or advice on this matter, you can consult the lawyers of our law firm. Schedule a Free Call With Us.