Mexico City is known for its enormous size and for the variety of stuff you can find there. Mexicans from around the country come to the capital, to find better job opportunities, attend university, buy things wholesale for their business, and so much more. Mexico City is also where I grew up, and where my family and friends are. I have gone through a lot of things–rides in my bicycle, house-parties, long conversations while sitting in traffic. I cannot hate my precious hometown. Nevertheless, I dislike many of the things that happen every day in the big capital. For example the corruption of the government, and within that the corruption of police officers, which causes insecurity in the streets. Many, if not all of this, comes from the shitty mentality that most Mexicans have.
Corruption is defined by the abuse of power for personal benefits (Secretaría de la Función Pública, 2013). We can see this phenomenon at different scales. On a large scale, corruption lies at the high levels of the government as a distortion of policies. This allows government leaders to benefit at the expense of the common good. On a small scale, corruption comes from public workers of medium-range or police officers, who have contact with civilians. The type of corruption that I have more experience with is the corruption of police officers. Police officers abuse their power against the population, especially the young population, because they think we are easier to scare.
One of my friends in México City had a problem with the corruption of police officers. He was going from his therapy to his university, and as he was waiting for the bus, he spotted a police operation a couple of blocks away from my house. He asked a police officer what were they doing and asked permission to take some pictures for a school project. The policeman agreed and everything seemed cool. He was taking some shots of the scene while he was on the bus stop when suddenly, a police officer approached him with a camera and started taking photos of him. His immediate reaction was covering his face, because he felt afraid of the police (like most Mexicans are).
The bus arrived but my friend was surrounded by cops, who started yelling “He has drugs! He has drugs!” He was terrified because there are several cases of young people being kidnapped by police officers, so he started to ask desperately for help. The cops grabbed, hit and handcuffed him, regardless of anything he could say. They got him into the patrol car and they threatened him with planting drugs on him. They took his phone to delete all of the photos he took and told him that he will never take any more photos of a police officer. They asked him to calm down; otherwise, he would have to pay the consequences. After he calmed down, he gave an apology to the cops (even when he hadn´t done anything).
They let him leave, but not without saying that he shouldn´t talk to anyone about anything of what happened. He walked a couple of blocks when the people that saw the scene asked him what had happened. He told them the story and they waited with him while his mom was coming. The police officers came back and started to harass him again, saying “we are going to take you to the Public Ministry.” The people defended him and didn’t let the police officers take him. The people waited until his mother arrived and they left. This is something that happens in Mexico a lot: there are many cases where authorities abuse their power for personal benefit. Fortunately, my friend is ok and he is able to tell his story, but not all of the times this ends the same.
This disgusting series of aspects of México City is something that can only happen here. That’s because, as I said at the beginning, there is this shitty mentality in almost all of the Mexican population. What I mean with this shitty mentality is how Mexicans always want everything the easy way; they just don’t care about what happens unless they are harmed. In the corruption story, for example, we can see how police officers wanted to take my friend´s money by just lying and abusing their power. In the other example, we can see violence against women and how men think it’s easy to just grab or just kidnap and rape someone. Sadly this is something that happens every day in Mexico and something that distinguishes it from other places. To stop this series of horrible events we must start taking conscious of what can our actions do. What I mean with this is that if you bribe a police officer. They will see you as an income source. These actions will contribute to corruption and insecurity. We should focus the education on the younger generations, who are our future.