This New York Times article points out that the wages of unbridled capitalism, or the unbridled, self-justified search for endless wealth, corrupts ALL the participants, not just the participants of a particular country.
When USAers condescendingly (and sometimes viciously condescendingly and destructively condescendingly) accuse Mexico of corruption and then self-righteously put in place policies that hurt ordinary Mexicans (NAFTA, Plan Merida, dumping GM rice, paving the country with Wal-Marts and so on and so on and so on) I sometimes just want to go to Washington or to various corporate headquarters in the US and SCREAM, don't you people EVER look at yourselves, your own activities, your own horribly immoral behavior which pretty much trumps everything in Mexico by virtue of scale if nothing else. I mean for heaven's sake, Mexico didn't make Walmart come down here to corrupt local officials. As some have pointed out the only difference, really, in the corruption in the US and that in Mexico (and a hell of a lot of other countries) is that a lot of AWFUL behavior is LEGAL in the US and not legal in Mexico (and a lot of othe countries).. And somehow everything is more subrosa in the us, quieter. But LOOK at the list of recent public scandals!. People in the US -- ordinary people -- don't assume their corporations and their governments are corrupt. They are citizens of what they still often believe is "the greatest country on earth." But Mexicans for the most part assume governments and corporations are corrupt and they speak about it loudly and clearly. Corruption is not hidden in boardrooms or backrooms where no one can see it. And yes, it extends to your local policeman. But I can give you a half a dozen personal examples of local police corruption from when I lived in the US. And how about payments to housing inspectors and restaurant inspectors, free meals to cops, a few turkeys on thanksgiving to your constituents, etc. etc. etc. Please, people (I love how Gail Collins always says "people") wake up and smell the rot in your own backyards. And HELP Mexico, don't destroy it!