December 31, 2012
Huffington Post, 12/31/2013
What do children in the final days before Christmas, boyfriends in the first few weeks of a relationship, and bureaucrats undergoing a critical audit have in common? The answer: They all feel the pressure of the watchful eye. In light of the recent Walmart corruption scandal, it is important to realize that developing countries can shield their bureaucracies from corruption’s reach. Monitoring by auditors, the press, or an active citizenry can keep governments honest, but only if those at the top of the political hierarchy demonstrate their political will to fight corruption by holding wrongdoers to account.
December 3, 2012
The Economist, 11/24/2012
A Buddhist monk, some neatly dressed Mormon missionaries and a young Guatemalan reading Nietzsche are among those waiting in the offices of the National Institute of Migration for their visas to be issued. Clerks tell visitors to take a seat—a mischievous joke, since there are vastly more people than chairs in the cramped waiting room. The air is thick with boredom and barely stifled rage. Doing business in Mexico can be a frustrating experience, thanks to the country’s affection for trámites, or red tape. Woe betide anyone who seeks a permit without the requisite number of photocopies or a notary’s stamp. Until recently foreigners of both sexes who wanted to live in Mexico had to fill in a form that included questions on their style of moustache (thin, trimmed or bushy?).
January 2, 2009
Los Angeles Times, 1/2/2009
Mexico is in a league of its own when it comes to red tape. Too often, many Mexicans complain, only bribes seem to get the creaky wheels of government turning.
So it stirred a sense of sweet vengeance when the government of President Felipe Calderon recently offered cash prizes in a contest to identify the country’s “most useless tramite.” An ad campaign depicted a haggard resident, laden with files, standing before a glowering bureaucrat. Venting years of frustration, 20,000 Mexicans poured forth with nominations by Internet, telephone and even the postal system, which enjoys its own place in the nation’s pantheon of inefficient agencies.