Public officials take it for granted that public money is their money, to spend as they wish. Hence the mega-debts in the states and the burdensome expenses wasted on superficialities. Maybe there would be some mitigation if Mexico’s economy were growing and we were administering abundance, as in the past. But this crisis is permanent.
The last cases of corruption published in the media reminded me of President Peña’s phrase, “corruption in Mexico is cultural”. At the time we all pounced on such an aberration. I still don’t think it’s cultural, however, what the president said has some truth: there is little impetus to reduce levels of corruption and a popular acceptance that we will always live up to our necks in it (“he that doesn’t makes deals doesn’t get ahead”). The desire for change goes hand in hand with the sacrifice which the political class would have to make when they stopped enjoying extralegal privileges. They are unlikely to make that sacrifice. This, however, does not imply that the progress of various government initiatives in the creation of stronger accountability and transparency controls be so slow. [MV Note: A National Anticorruption System was initated in April 2015 via various constitutional amendments, but implementing legislation has yet to be