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Trouble Down South
Contractors Defraud Pemex for Billions of Dollars
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  • Andrew Allison

    This seems a bit naive. Given the overall level of corruption, shouldn’t the question be how much of the fraud was kicked back to the Pemex employees who oversaw the contracting?

    • Corlyss

      The screweduppedness of this failed state and the notion there is such a thing as “government” in any modern sense of the word in Mexico is the problem. You better bet the government is deeply corrupt in everything it does, including “managing” oil reserves.

      • Andrew Allison

        Corlyss, I think that failed state is a tad too strong. My point was the failure of the author to recognize how the fraud was facilitated. In my mind a failed state is one which is disintegrating (Libya, Syria, probably Iraq, et al.). This is not the same thing as kleptocracy, which can be long-lived: unlike most sub-Saharan African countries , Russia, Ukraine, et al., Mexico does not appear to have achieved that status.

        • JR

          A certain level of fraud and corruption is inevitable. Sure, fine, whatever… Somebody got good on the building of the Pyramids, that’s for sure. The question is whether real work can still be done while fraud is going on. As long as it can, fine. When it can’t, like the case with Russia, Ukraine, Venezuela, and increasingly Greece, well, that’s when bad shit start to happen.

        • Boritz

          “which can be long-lived”

          Yes, but only because of a porous northern border to keep the whole thing afloat. It’s a failed state that keeps going because of $billions that are wired home. With only legal immigration resembling that of other nations it wouldn’t work for long. This is not a comment on immigration policy per se, just an observation about how it serves to prop up.

          • Andrew Allison

            You raise a very good point. I would add to the billions sent home by (legal and illegal) immigrants the flood of drug money, largely from non-Hispanic US citizens, the results of which may well more than offset the benefits of the former. Nevertheless, I remain of the opinion that, whilst it is arguably trying, Mexico has yet to achieve failed-state status. Whilst deeply corrupt, it maintains a semblance of democratic institutions.

        • Corlyss

          I think there’s a continuum of failure in states and Mexico is right up there. But we disagree about this ever time I put the two thoughts together. When large portions of a state are ceded to armed organizations rampaging thru the population murdering and kidnapping and stealing at will and the titular government is unable to do diddly about it, I call that a failed state. The fact that they speak Spanish instead of Arabic or Igbo or Russian and reside in the western hemisphere instead of the near east has no bearing on the issue of whether they live in a failed state. The time-servers in Mexico City WISH all they had to worry about were a kelptocracy.

          • Andrew Allison

            Upon reflection, I conclude that you are right.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    All Monopolies including the Government Monopoly suffer from the same disease, the lack of the “Feedback of Competition”. It is the “Feedback of Competition” that forces continuous improvements in Quality, Service, and Price, in the free market. Because of this fact, Monopolies cannot be reformed, they cannot be fixed, and throwing more money at them is useless no matter how often the politicians say they will do things right “this Time”.

    • Corlyss

      A bit OT, but I heard the new president of Greece (at least I think he must be president by now), refer to himself as a “libertarian Marxist.” Can you parse that and explain to me what he thinks he is?

      • Andrew Allison

        A Socialist?

  • FriendlyGoat

    We’re all against drug cartels. Are we also against regular corporations which also take government “for a ride”?

    • Corlyss

      “Are we against regular corporations which also take government “for a ride” on contracting?”
      I suppose you’re trying to make a reference to US government contracting. Remember I had a 35 year career in the field, and I can assure you the rumors of such a thing are most often based in faulty journalism, total ignorance of the process, facile supposition by folks who don’t know what they are talking about, and other invalidating practices, not on fact. If you are not, I apologize for mistaking your meaning.

  • Josephbleau

    I have many wonderful Mexican friends and associates and have worked in Mexico on projects and plays a good deal, but I think that they would agree that Texas and California are better off for being in the US. At least it gives a few of the daring a place to go. I am too polite to ask them.

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