How is it possible that in a country where by law monopolies are prohibited, Carlos Slim is among the most powerful men, the same as Chapo Guzmán? How is it possible that a drug trafficker is more powerful than the president and the PGR? This can be explained only through corruption.Or, alternatively, it can be explained through the fact that Forbes tossed Chapo on there to get everyone riled up, and it based the ranking on a methodology roughly as scientific as a list of a 12-year-old girl's potential husbands. Chapo's continued freedom has a lot to do with corruption, as well as the perverse effects of a misguided policy in the US, but the question of whether or not he is more powerful than the president is both absurd and obfuscatory. As we see above, the presence of Chapo on the list of the wealthiest or most powerful becomes the prism through which criticisms of the Mexican state are made. That's silly; whether or not Chapo is more powerful than the president, which is a bit like whether Batman could beat up a team of SEALS, offers no insight into the problem. Chapo could just as easily be deemed less powerful than Calderón, but corruption would still be a major issue in Mexico. Forbes made the debate stupider. They should be ashamed of that.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Why Forbes Rankings Matter
This is the response from Lorenzo Meyer, one of Mexico's most distinguished intellectuals, to the Transparency International corruption rankings published yesterday: