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Mexican Corruption Condoned at Highest Level, World Policy Institute Says


July 1993

Despite vows to root out corruption in law enforcement and government, the administration of Mexican president Carlos Salinas has presided over growing corruption that is undermining economic reform, according to a social researcher at the World Policy Institute (Andrew Reding, "Mexico: Corruption From The Top," Washington Post, Op-Ed, 6/14/93, A19).

Mexican drug traffickers are using both legal tactics and, reportedly, bribery to thwart President Carlos Salinas de Gortari's efforts to redistribute land seized in drug raids. Seized land has been distributed to peasants, but farm workers' organizations believe that ultimately the drug traffickers will prevail in reversing the seizures, driving off the new peasant landholders (Tod Robberson, "Traffickers Take On Salinas In Court: Lawyers Tying Redistribution Of Seized Lands In Legal Knots," Washington Post, 6/11/93, A29).

The extent of corruption became evident following the slaying this spring of Roman Catholic Cardinal Juan Posadas at Guadalajara airport by drug traffickers. In June, six Mexican police officers were jailed on corruption charges in connection with the slaying. One of those arrested was Lt. Col. Francisco Bejos Camacho, head of the federal Judicial Police in the state of Jalisco, of which Guadalajara is the capital (No byline, "Around The World: Mexican Police Jailed," Washington Post, 6/9/93, A22). On June 10, reputed Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin Guzman was arrested in Guatemala in connection with the Posadas slaying (Tod Robberson, "Figure In Cardinal's Death Is Arrested By Guatemala: Manhunt Nets Alleged Mexican Drug Lord," Washington Post, 6/11/93, A29).