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Showing posts from December, 2019

Corruption in the Calle: Bribing the Cops

While living in a corrupt city like Cartagena, I make a daily decision whether I am going to perpetuate, ignore, or call out normalized bribery and fraud. I consider myself a good foreign resident. I pay my real estate, vehicle, and income taxes. I pick up my dogs’ poop and garbage in my neighborhood park and most of the time, I stop my car for pedestrians. However, somedays I am tested more than others, and all my civic duty and good-neighbor etiquette just go out the window.
Recently, I was stopped by the traffic police or DATT (Departamento Administrativo de TrĂ¡nsito y Transportes). I was in violation of the pico y placa law which states that cars with specific license plate numbers can only travel through the city on certain days and times. It is designed to help with traffic. As I drove to work, I completely forgot it was my car’s turn to stay home, so I was rightfully stopped. Here is when I had to make a decision: should I bribe the possibly corrupt officer, or should I …