There is an increasingly heated debate today about Latin America’s two titans: Does Brazil receive too many kudos, and does Mexico receive too much criticism? For all the ugly press Mexico’s murderous drug war gets, Brazil’s homicide rate is actually higher. Global media fawn over Brazil’s economic boom, but the World Bank finds Mexico a much easier place to do business; it earns more in manufacturing exports and is enrolling a higher number of engineering students.
But Transparency International offers another potential reminder of why Brazil has realized more development, and two times more average economic growth, than Mexico has so far in the so-called Century of the Americas. Bottom line: business and bureaucracy might be easier in Mexico, but in Brazil they’re actually cleaner.