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Corruption amidst crisis

The stench of corruption which impregnates all government-related matters has caused great skepticism in Mexican society
Distribution of supplies – File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
24/09/2017
09:00
Mexico City
Newspaper Leader by EL UNIVERSAL
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Mexican society certainly doesn't trust its public institutions. While this isn't a surprise for anybody, this statement has held true in the last couple of days, when amidst the tragedy and desolation caused by the earthquake on September 19, society – through social networks and civil organizations– has shown it is wary, skeptical and suspicious of having Government institutions in charge of storing and distributing the supplies donated by the citizens.

Despite the empowerment of thousands of citizens from all ages and social strata handling the current crisis, who are focused on helping any way they can the victims in the capital city, it's a sad evidence of the high level of rejection, anger, and wariness the entire society has towards its public officials.

In Morelos, for instance, like EL UNIVERSAL reported yesterday and does again today, there have been accusations that public officials and local institutions were confiscating the supplies arriving from other states, allegedly to store them and distribute them as needed. However, several key players have claimed victim support has been used for political agendas and that the state government is taking credit of all supplies donated.

Of course, the argument that says authorities should be in charge of managing supplies is a reasonable one. It's their work and they are the ones who have the necessary resources to efficiently manage the tonnes of food & medical supplies the generosity of Mexican society has gathered to help the victims. Regardless, it's due to the current state of our country, the deep mistrust in institutions, the discredit of politicians, the stench of corruption which is impregnated in everything and the skepticism of the citizens towards all government-related matters which makes these claims understandable.

The sole accusation that the Government is presenting the supplies donated by the society as the Government's own “generosity” should be reason enough for public officials to be ashamed, not to say how they should be very thorough in detailing how the enormous amount of resources people are sending to the victims are being allocated.

Amidst this tragedy we're living, it's unacceptable to find politicians proselytizing, even more, that they are taking credit for the resources donated by the people. And let's not start with the possibility of the supplies not reaching the victims.This would just be plainly despicable.

The earthquake has brought forward the best of the Mexican people: generosity. Yet, it has also brought to light, clearer than before, that the social cry for a country without corruption is just a ticking bomb, and the political class should be paying attention.

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