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‘La mordida’ — residents pessimistic about corruption in society

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An anti-corruption group in Mérida campaigns against bribery earlier this year in Mérida. Photo: file

Mérida, Yucatán — Over 86 percent of respondents answering a survey on corruption in Yucatán consider bribes and dishonesty a serious or very serious problem.

An estimated 46.7 million pesos was paid in bribes, or mordidas, to government officials in 2016, according to the Study to Determine the Index State Corruption in the Public Service.

But residents implicated a broad swath of society — including journalists, merchants and priests — as part of a culture of corruption.

That study indicates that corruption increased since the previous study in 2012.

When respondents were asked what level of government they consider to be more corrupt, 44.5 percent said the most corruption occurs at the highest levels; 38.9 percent answered that all levels are equally corrupt; 9 percent pointed to the middle levels, and 5 percent accused the lowest levels of government.

Over 36 percent rated this problem as serious; 50.2 percent called it very serious; 10.4 percent said it was minor; and 2.4 percent left the question blank.

Nearly half felt that corruption had increased while 40.6 percent felt the level of dishonesty had leveled off. Only 7 percent thought corruption was lower in 2016. More than half forecast even more corruption next year.

As to who they consider to be the most corrupt, respondents give the highest scores to politicians, police officers and union leaders, whom they consider to be “very corrupt.”

Further down the scale, judges, bureaucrats and entrepreneurs were deemed “quite corrupt.” Merchants, journalists, teachers and even priests were considered “a little corrupt.”

Of those who claim to be victims of corruption, 71.5 percent say they don’t know the process to file a complaint.

This study was commissioned by the Institute for the Fight Against Corruption in the State, in which university students surveyed 660 people representing the 12 largest municipalities in Yucatán.

Source: Diario de Yucatán

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