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'Corrupcionario Mexicano' Glossary of Graft Lays Bare a Lexicon of Corruption

David Agren - The Guardian
go to original
November 7, 2016

The word on the street in Mexico is corruption (Corrupcionario Mexicano/Amazon)

The word chayote is a term originally from the Nahuatl language which denotes a greenish edible gourd. In Mexico, it also means a payment made by a politician to a journalist in exchange for favorable coverage.

Chapulín signifies “grasshopper” – but can also mean a politician who changes party affiliation in search of financial benefit.

Gallo means “rooster” but in a political context it stands for a political fixer or bagman.

So well-entrenched is corruption in Mexico’s political life, that an entire lexicon has evolved to describe its intricacies. Now a group of activists has published a compendium of corruption terms in an effort to highlight the country’s graft problem.

Those behind the Corrupcionario Mexicano – or “Mexican Corruptionary” – argue that curbing corruption starts with changing the way criminal behavior is described.

“One of the ways of normalizing these actions is to call them by name and put them on paper as we’ve done so that people stop seeing as normal something that isn’t,” says Alejandro Legorreta, an investor and president of the NGO Opciona.

The new glossary includes dozens of terms for malfeasance, but also a few other terms. “Justice”, for example is defined as “a nonexistent social construct in Mexico. Period.”

Read the rest at The Guardian

Related: Mexico Government Corruption: Feigned Autonomy of New Prosecutor General's Office (Mexico Voices)

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