By Jude Webber / Financial Times
“It’s always difficult to deal with government,” complains an insurance broker in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey. “Someone always tries to ask you for a bribe.”
Corruption, once dismissed by President Enrique Peña Nieto as simply a cultural phenomenon, has become so commonplace in Mexico that business people are blasé.
One describes making routine political campaign contributions that are far beyond what is allowed: “Everyone has to. It’s expected.”
He adds: “I’ve lost count of the number of times that state officials have come to our plant demanding permits for procedures that we already have permits for. All they want is a bribe, which we don’t pay, because I know the governor. But not every Mexican business has the access that I do.”
While greasing the ever squeaky wheels of Mexican bureaucracy has long been viewed as just the way things work in the country, public patience has snapped in recent months.