Once in PV. Passed a car on the left lane of a 4 lane divided highway. Light turned red seconds before I entered the intersection. Motor cycle cop writing ticket on other side of 4 lane. Hopped on his bike and came after me. I asked what the fine would be. 200 pesos. I paid him on the spot and left. It was cheap for the infraction.
Yes, I have been asked for bribes from police and positions in Mexico. Local police, state police and federales, ranging from $5 to $300. I understand their dilemma, but will it ever stop. I was involved with a real estate project near Tijuana, we paid 100's of thousands of dollars to different officials in different areas of the municipal government for "permission" and to avoid fines for a litany of imaginary infractions.
With the agreement and assistance of the highest managers of Banorte, we once paid an high ranking official of SAT (Mexican IRS) $287,000 USD for a favorable tax ruling on our project. Mordita is rampant in Mexico. This will never change.
I bought a new cooking stove in a town about 40 minutes from my town. I had a pick up truck and hauled it home. Police stopped me and I did pay about a 50 peso mordida because I was not using a comercial hauler to transport my stove...so they said. But, hey ! It was lunchtime and they were hungry.
Lived in Los Cabos for 5 years. Best strategy I found is to carry a diccionario with you and hand it to them to help you understand. One word looked up is usually enough. On the other hand, I empathize with the guys making $10 a day in a tourist area where $10 won't buy a family rice and beans. If I'm in a hurry, I'll say,
"No podemos arreglar algo aqui?" - meaning, "can't we arrange something right here?" Then the bargaining begins. $5 is fairly typical "settlement.". And always carry that old driver's license with you, just in case!
I have never received a ticket because I don't drive in Mexico. I take the collectivo's or I hire a taxi...so...don't drive.
I've lived in Mexico several times through the years and only paid a bribe once, in 1963 when I caused an accident in Hidalgo. The other vehicle had to be towed and the female passenger had a cut on her face. My wife was close to giving birth in Mexico City and I didn't want to be stuck in jail while the case got resolved. My insurance agent suggested the payment, which was about $60, all I had at the time. (Pre-ATM days, fortunately!) The standard opening they make is that you have to go to the station to pay the fine. I've said "okay, let's go!" This is the last thing they want to do. I did this with a motorcycle officer in the DF who worked the Periferico near my house and he let me go after a clear violation. After that I'd commit the same violation every morning going to work and he would wave at me as if we were old friends.
I was stopped in Cabo for not wearing a seatbelt. It was broken. I said take me to the station. He walked away. I carry old drivers licenses to give if they ask.
In 12 years here, I’ve only been pulled over once for “speeding,” and I knew right away it was just a set-up for cash.
I was in Nuevo Laredo around 5 p.m., heading for the International bridge. Traffic was congested, moving at a crawl. A traffic SUV swerved behind me, lights flashing. I eased over to the right to give him clearance to get around me. He moved over to my new lane and I then knew I was the target. Three cops were on board.
Just one got out and told me I was speeding. I said how could I be speeding in this traffic. He ignored that and suggested I must have thought the speed signs were in miler per hour, not kilometers per hour. (Texas plates, Texas license.)
To make a long story shorter, I finally said I’ve been driving for more than 8 hours. I’m tired and just want to go back to Texas. Rather than follow him to the station, can I just pay him the fine and he can pay it for me. (I knew this was a shake-down. He knew I knew it, too. But they get insulted if you accuse them of being a dirty cop after money.)
So, the fine turned out to be exactly $1,500 pesos. OK. There are three cops in the SUV. That’s $500 pesos each. It’s Saturday, probably around shift change. They want the cash for a cantina or to take the fam out to dinner or something.
The officer at immigration on the U.S. side said I probably got off cheap.
Happened a few months ago outside Tulum on my way to the Cancun airport, I was stopped by 2 municipal cops early morning. These guys keep all hours. I learned to never tell a Mexican cop where you are going or why you are in the country. The less you seem concerned, the less leverage they have over you. If they insist, Let them know you are going to visit your sick grandmother. Seems they have a soft spot for something they can relate to. $30 bucks for passing on the inside lane. What BS!
My friend was pulled out of traffic mid morning in D.F. and escorted to a shady neighborhood on a dead end street by 2 municipal motor cops. They eventually escorted him to an ATM at a nearby supermarket to draw down his daily ATM limit. Very scary!
I been coming to mexico extensively since 1994. I have driven in all 31 states overtime exploring.. 20 years ago i paid a mordida at the border (50usd), then one in cancun. We started at a ridiculous 100usd and I talked him down to 30 bucks. This was all 20 years ago. In 2012 I moved full time to Ajijic. I paid one on the street for 500pesos (partly my fault) and then one over a stolen PC of mine. I knew who it was and called the local cops. The cops wired the deal to bribe me and the theive"s family-played it from both ends-complicated story but that is the gist of it. 500 pesos. Never had a problem since. Considering how many miles I drove in mexico all over, not bad. There were times i got stopped (about 6 times), in all that driving but talked my way out of them-no mordida.
Playa Del Carmen is horrible about this. It's a shame. Along with the raw sewage in the streets and pouring into the Caribbean Sea, daily murders in the streets, corrupt taxi drivers, corrupt police, tainted alcohol, high prices, drug gang infiltration, beach erosion, Euro-Americanization of everything, destruction of the mangroves and environment, PDC is quickly becoming a hell-hole. At least they got rid of the BPM festival. Sad that it took the deaths of innocent tourists to do it, but I guess that's one of the few signs of progress I have seen here in years. Seriously, moving here was a life-long dream of mine that has become a nightmare and I will be out of here as soon as I can sell my house. It's so sad. This used to be one of the greatest places on Earth - until greed found its way here.
Oh yes, in Playa, Merida and Tamaulipas. In Playa and Merida, ihD mistakenly ended on a one-way going the wrong way. Both times the fines were reasonable $80 and $25 respective. In Tamaulipas I met a tough guy older cop who shook me down for $200, it was late in the day and I wanted to make Cuidad Victoria before dark. This guy was scary and I just wanted to get away from him. The motorcycle cop in Nrrida was great, he started out at $50, we negotiated it down to $25 and as we were obviously lost, he put on his flashing lights and guided us out of town.
Once 30 some years ago in Tijuana, $10, and again in TJ 8 years ago $300 for the same traffic "crime". Inflation or increased corruption? Simple and easy answer.
Many times in Playa Del Carmen, San Louis P. and Cancun
I pay between 200 to 300 Peso, at least once every 2 months, with them pulling you over while driving. They are so corrupt here the Politician and Police, my town has gone threw 3 Presidents in one year, the Prior Christmas they arrested on Christmas day, the President and the whole Police force, they were running major drug business, next President, stole the money to pay the band's, for my towns Fiesta, I have actually sat with Presidents of towns and they have told me how much they stole, last year and how much he thinks he can steal next year, Federal Police cost more, I have asked police ask me, if I can sell them some weed, State Police, and he was serious, haha. He actually bought it from another guy that was at the Garage I was at, I have been offered Stolen equipment by the Police, big Machinery. Mexico is completely nuts, but you can make some big money down here, I you can get through nightmare of trying to open a company, and there SAT, revenue dept, and if you live outside a major city, everything is a problem, employees are headache, but what do you expect, if you were making 200 Peso a day,
Once in DF 30 years ago and once three years ago. Once in PV five years ago, twice in Cihuatlan, Jalisco in the past two years and twice in Guadalajara 3-4 years ago.
Never have been asked for bribe - but rys ago suggested to two american youths to offer to MX police to offer $20.00 - their truck had been chained to tow away. They did, and vehicle unchained.
I have paid bribes in Mexicali($150 US for a pocket knife), San Luis Colorado, Cabo and Mexico City. But never where I live in San Felipe, Baja.
Drive to PVbevery year for 10 yrs
I have been hit with the mordido
2 or 3 hundred.pesos at 20 to 1.
I just want to get on my way.
I'm not shaking the tree for the
principal of it.
It is what it is.
Once in Puerto Vallarta. I lived there at the time.
Never "asked" to pay a bribe but it was clear he wanted me to. Stopped me for no seatbelt and asked if he could write me a ticket. I said I would prefer he didn't in English....I continued to act like I didn't understand and didn't know what he wanted from me. Finally I told him I would call a friend that could translate for me....he wanted to know who it was and I told him it was a friend that worked at the mayors office...he immediately gave me back my drivers license and told me to go.....no more talk about a ticket.
Once in Guadalajara and once (more recently) in Puerto Vallarta. Neither time did they "ask" for money. Both times the officers just said he was writing me a ticket (for something I didn't do of course), and I would have to give him my driver's license and go to the courthouse and pay a fine to get it back. The first time I asked if I could pay the fine to him, and of course he said 'claro", so paid the equivanet of $10. The second time my wife, who is Mexican, and a brother-in law from Mexico City, were following behind me. They knew I hadn't done anything illegal (they knew the cops just saw a gringo who might have money) so they stopped too, had a heated discussion with the cops, and all "infractions" were miraculously forgiven. No money. LOL.
Lived there for 7 years now, however, have never been asked for a bribe in all our travels. Lucky, well maybe, perhaps it's because I speak Spanish like a local....it helps us!
I've been a visitor to Los Cabos for 12 winters.I used to be stopped with my vehicle because I have U.S. plates, for any thing.Things have gotten better and I am always polite and generally get away after a conversation ,if Not I ask to see the chief,It never goes further.
Twice, once at Tecate, going north, and a second time just south of the blow holes...
It is not only the bribery but the whole hypocricy of the higher authorities who crave record levels of tourism and investment but never do anything to protect the tourist or foreign resident from outright endemic abuse, threats and intimidation particularly from those who are supposed to uphold the law and justice.
The question is worded wrong. They never ask for a bribe. They make up a crazy story in which you are guilty of some crazy thing. Then you have to ask for their assistance in avoiding that huge amount of $ and they agree to accepting less because they are so nice. It has happened a few times. I realized too late that a problem at the border could have been settled if I had flattered the guy saying that he, of course, knew how we could settle the problem with a car visa. He had just told us that we needed to go back to Chicago to settle the problem. We handled it the way a gringo would have done it. We didn't go to Chicago but spent alot of time on it. The guy would have been glad to help us solve the problem if we had flattered him and offered to pay for his time since we knew that he was very busy with his job. Well, live and learn.
Ive been traveling to Mexico for almost 30myears and experienced bribes all the time
We always thought that was the way to try to get thru with no problems
only once years ago and talked my way out of it
Never, in fourteen years. But I was forced to pay a bribe to the court (A clerk? The judge?) because they threatened to decide against me if I didn't - after a ten year battle.
I am a Mexican attorney and I have been asked for bribes many times. I always report it and I have never paid a bribe.