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PROVERBS FOR MEXICAN CORRUPTION (4)

I respectfully dedicate this to the Spanish people,
victims of the hideous moral corruption of fanatics.

by HOMERO ARIDJIS

from REFORMA, Sunday, March 14, 2004

FACED with the spectacle of the media lynching being undergone by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the statements of corrupt politicians from diverse parties who (like the dissidents in the Green Party) enjoy no great moral credibility, but tear their hair out over the Bejerano and Ponce affairs and naturally, the "commercial interests" of the devious businessman Jorge Ahumada, a personage who could belong in Jorge Luis Borges' Universal History of Infamy, in Mexico the show goes on. This moral cancer that from the days of Lopez de Santa Ana to those of Lopez Portillo, through decades of the PRI and half a presidential term of the PAN, has undermined our society and has become a culture. The problem is: That in the recent dirty war of videos, meant to destroy reputations and reshape political alliances for the gubernatorial elections of 2004 and those for the presidency in 20006, the Mexican people are left bereft, because they do not know whom to believe nor whom to vote for. I am afraid this confrontation foreshadows a disturbing struggle for power in the next two years, a struggle that could well destabilize the country, politically, socially and economically. But, not lacking in black humor, readers and friends have sent me some phrases, newspaper quotations and their observations.

  • La corrupcion es contagiosa.
    Corruption is contagious.

  • La corrupcion es un ejemplo negativo que se da a los hijos.
    Corruption is a bad example for children.

  • La corrupcion a toda madre se mama en casa.
    Corruption is well nourished at a mother's breast.

  • Mi padre fue maestro de corrupcion y yo me recibi de abogado (hijo de politico)
    My father was a master of corruption and I graduated in it as a lawyer (Son of a politician).

  • No me den dinero, pongame donde hay dinero (decir del viejo PRI y del nuevo PAN).
    Don't give me money, put me where there is money. (a saying of the old PRI and the new PAN).

  • A los supremos mandatarios de la corrupcion en lugar de prision se les da pension. Que nacion!
    Instead of prison the supreme executives of corruption get a pension. What a nation!

  • Si Marcos (el de Filipinas) hubiera sido mexicano recibiria pension, guarurica protection y hasta medica atencion a costa de la nacion.
    If Marcos (the Philipino one) had been a Mexican he would have received a pension, bodyguard protection and even medical attention, at the expense of the nation.

  • A causa de autonomia, la corrupcion en las universidades es autonoma.
    Because of autonomy, corruption in the universities is autonomous.

  • A los buenos los descalifican y a los ratas los ratifican.
    The good people are maligned and the thieves rewarded.

  • A causa de la corrupcion , los ninos mienten desde la escuela.
    On account of corruption children lie from the time they are in school.

  • Los jueces son una cloaca viva, cuidado de no caer adrentro.
    Judges are like human sewers, be careful not to fall in one.

  • Si pudieran, los jueces, los abogados y los senadores venderian la justicia al diablo.
    If they could, the judges, the lawyers, the senators would sell justice to the devil.

  • Si la lucha contra la corrupcion no comienza con los jueces, estaremos caminando sobre cascaras de mango.
    If the battle against corruption does not begin with the judges we will be walking on banana peels.

  • Los jueces son las manzanas podridas en la huerta de la justicia.
    Judges are the rotten apples in the garden of justice.

  • La transa de los grandes es la vida de los pequenos. O: de la transa de los grandes viven los pequenos.
    The compromises of the great ones are made at the expense of the little people.
    Or: The little people live off the compromises of the great ones.

  • Un presidente de Mexico/entro cantando la letra de la anti-corrupcion y salio con las maletas llenas/cantando la misma cancion.
    A president of mexico/began singing the verse of anti-corruption and left with full suitcases/singing the same song.

  • Lector ingenue: "Adonde habra depositado su costal de dinero el presidente de la renovacion moral?"
    Naïve reader: "Where is president of moral renewal going to deposit his sack of money?"

  • Grafiti de cinismo popular de este sexenio: Que se vayan los pendejos y regresen los corruptos.
    Cynical graffiti of this presidential term; away with the assholes and let the corrupt ones return.

  • "Creemos que son los mismos policias quienes matan a las mujeres, ya que que casualidad que ellos llegan adonde los demas no", Julia Contreras, hermana de Rebecca, la ultima joven encontrada violada y asesinada en Ciudad Juarez, en el caso de maxima corrupcion moral de las ultimas decadas.
    We believe that it is the police themselves who are killing the women, because what a coincidence it is that they get to places where nobody else does", Julia Contreras, sister of Rebecca, the latest young woman to be found raped and murdered in Ciudad Juarez, in the case of the most moral corruption in the last decades.

  • Deberiamos quemarla (la silla presidencial) para acabar con la corrupcion (atribuido a Emiliano Zapata).
    We should burn it (the presidential chair) in order to put an end to the corruption. (attributed to Emiliano Zapata).

  • "En politica todo lo que se puede comprar es barato" (Carlos Hank Gonzalez citado por Arturo Montiel, gobernador del Estado de Mexico, EL INDEPENDIENTE, 30 de junio de 2003).
    "In politics anything you can buy is cheap" (Carlos Hank Gonzalez quoted by Arturo Montiel, governor of Mexico State, EL INDEPENDIENTE, June 30, 2003).

  • "Pero jamas yo pense que en mi intencion de chamaquearlos fuera yo a salir chamaqueardo" (senador Jorge Emilio Gonzalez, presidente del Partido Verde Ecologista de Mexico, REFORMA, 25 de febrero de 2004).
    "But I never thought that, in my intention to trick them,I myself would be tricked" (Senator Jorge Emilio Gonzalez, President of the Mexican Green Party, REFORMA, February 25, 2004).

  • Politico del tricolor/come pinole y es cantor.
    Politician from the PRI/he eats corn flour and he is a singer.(He is all things to all men).

  • El policia es el mejor amigo del hombre, porque muerde
    The policeman is man's best friend, because he bites. ('muerde' is a verb form of mordida',the word for 'bribe').

  • La mordida a funcionarios y prestadores de servicios is como un asalto en el que uno coopera.
    The bribe to an official or expediter of services is an assault in which one cooperates..

  • "En lugar de Bengala los conocian como 'Venga la lana', porque dejaban ir a los ladrones de auto y entregaban los vehiculos a cambiode dinero" (Luis Bravo, historiador de la Secretaria de Seguridad Publica sobre el Grupo Bengals, REFORMA, 17 de agosto del 2003).
    "Instead of Bengala they were known as 'bring on the lana' (money), because in exchange for cash they would let the car thieves go and lets them keep the automobiles. (Luis Bravo, historian for the Ministry for Public Safety on the Bengala Group, REFORMA, august 17, 2003).

  • Tan rateros somos los que nos lo robamos, como los que hacen pendejadas con el dinero del pueblo.
    We who steal from each other are thieves just like those who play fast and loose with the public treasury.

  • "Para mi esto no es noticia porque a mi me han ofrecido payola; no me han dicho 'te voy a dar tanto al mes', pero me han dicho 'si te falta algo, dime'", el director de programcion de Radioactivo (sobre los pagos a la radio, REFORMA, 7 de agosto del 2003.
    "For me this is not news because they have offered me payola; not, 'I'll give you so much a month', but they have told me, 'if you need anything, let me know'". Director of programming for Radioactivo (concerning payments to the radio, REFORMA: August 7, 2003).

  • Sacristan que no vende cera y no tiene cereria, de donde la sacaria? (frase con la que se critica el robo y venta de articulos que sustraen los empleados de sus centros de trabajo. Armando Jimenez, recopilador de PICARDIA MEXICANA).
    A sexton who doesn't sell wax and has no candlemaking shop, how does he do it? (saying used to criticize the theft and sale of articles taken by employees from their workplaces. Armando Jimenez, compiler of PICARDIA MEXICANA).

  • Yo soy pobre, pero cobro (variante de "Yo soy pobre, pero tacano" del poeta Ali Chumacero)
    I am poor but I charge (variation of "I am poor, but stingy" from the poetry of Ali Chumacero).

  • El burocrata que anda despacio/es el que cobra en el palacio.
    The bureaucrat who moves slowly/is he who ends up in the palace.

  • En la medida en que el tiempo pasa, la evidencia desaparece, los delitos prescriben y las acciones legales pierden efectividad" (Bernardo Gonzalez Arechiga, del Instituto de Proteccion al Ahorro Bancario , IPAB, La Jornada, 19 de junio de 2003, sobre los criminales de cuello blanco).
    "As time passes evidence disappears, the crimes cease to be valid and legal action becomes less effective" (Bernardo Gonzalez Arechiga, of the Institute for the Protection of Bank Savings, on the subject of white collar criminals).

  • "Que nadie haga de la inmunidad impunidad", Javier Corral Jurado sobre Ricardo Aldana, dirigente del sindicato petrolero, idem.
    "Let nobody create impunity out of immunity", Javier Corral Jurado on the subject of Ricardo Aldana, leader of the oilworkers' union (also a member of congress).

Glossary of common expressions among corrupt bureaucrats (sent by a kind reader).

  • Hay que reportarse con el de arriba. (the man upstairs has to be taken care of). Used when the provider of a service asks for extra money for his superior.

  • Aguas con ese, porque es chiva. (careful with him, he's an informer). A warning given to a person who has a meeting with someone who reports illegal activities.

  • Para que tu asunto camine, hay que aceitar la maquinaria. (for your affair to move along the machinery has to be oiled). Words used to inform the applicant for a procedure or service that if he wants a speedy and favorable answer he must pay so much to be shared among responsible for resolving the affair.

  • Lo apanaron en la movida. (they caught him red-handed).

  • Pintar el cuerno. Someone cheating on his spouse.

  • Mosca fly, Camaron shrimp, Villegas, Teniente lieutenant, Sandwich, Torta. All of these words describe money received illegally in return for some favor or service.

  • Conectar con el bueno. Introducing or connecting the applicant with the official in charge of the matter so that he can negotiate with him.

  • Cachondear a algun funcionario. Going overboard with the gifts, invitations and flattery to an official in the hope of his help in resolving some matter.

  • Dejarse querer o tener su corazoncito. (he lets himself be loved, has his little heart). He who discretely enjoys receiving money, gifts, sinecures in exchange for favors.

  • Sueno infantil: Sone, mamita, con un Mexico sin corruptos. A child's dream: Mommy, I dreamt of a Mexico with no corrupt people.

  • El discurso del buen ladron por el poeta Nicanor Parra.
    Speech of the good thief by the poet Nicanor Parra.

    Acuerdate de mi cuando estes en tu reino
    Remember me when you come into your kingdom
    Nombrame Presidente del Senado
    Appoint me President of the Senate
    Nombrame Director del Presupuesto
    Appoint me Budget Director
    Nombrame Contralor General de la Republica
    Appoint me Controller General of the Republic
    Acuerdate de la corona de espinas
    Remember the crown of thorns
    Hazme Consul de Chile en Estocolmo
    Make me Chilean Consul in Stockholm
    Nombrame Director de Ferrocarriles
    Appoint me Director of Railroads
    Nombrame Comandante en Jefe del Ejercito
    Make me commander in Chief of the Army
    Acepto cualquier cargo
    I will accept any position
    Conservador de Bienes Raices
    Curator of properties
    Director General de Bibliotecas
    Director General of Libraries
    Director de Correos y Telegrahos
    Director of Post Offices and Telecommunications
    Jefe de Vialdad
    Head of Transportation
    Visitador de parques y jardines
    Inspector of parks and gardens
    Intendente de la provincia de Nuble
    Governor of the province of Nuble
    Nombrame Director del Zoologico
    Appoint me Zoo Director

    Glory to the Father

    Glory to the Son

    Glory to the Holy Spirit

    Nombrame Embajador en cualquier parte
    Appoint me ambassador anywhere
    Nombrame Capitan del Colo-Colo
    Make me Captain of Coca-Cola
    Nombrame si te place
    Appoint me if it pleases you
    Presidente del Cuerpo de Bomberos
    President of the Fire Brigade
    Hazme Rector del liceo de Ancud
    Make me Rector of the Lycee at Ancud
    En el peor de los casos
    If worst comes to worst
    Nombrame Director del Cementerio
    Appoint me Director of the Cemetery.


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