Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Corruption is a Part of RGV

The Rio Grande Valley does not have a monopoly on corruption of public officials. This sort of thing happens everywhere. We do, however, seem to have it happen more often than other places. Our most recent instance is with former Sherrif Conrado Cantu. This is probably attributable to the proximity of the border and the inherent problems of having it poorly protected. Drug trafficking is a part of our local economy. The first big hurdle is crossing the drugs over the border. There are often instances of people storing tons of pot or cocaine in their homes as staging areas before the next leg of transportation. A lot of money goes through the RGV. A lot of money goes into "greasing the wheels" too.

This is not to say that all of our officials are corrupt. We do have some great public servants and many mediocre ones. There are a few corrupt officials out there, which tarnishes the rest of our local government, afer all, the corrupt don't operate in a vacuum.

One thing that is rampant in our local government is Compadre Politics. If you have a connection with somebody, by friendship of family, you can often get things done that most people can't. I've had the occasional offer to have a ticket taken care of by so and so's dad, or Judge this or other. Of course, I don't accept the offer. You never know when somebody will want a favor back, one that I can't refuse.

Despite the occasional corruption ring that springs up, the Rio Grande Valley is still a great place to live. For the most part, our local goverment works well. During emergencies, our people are on the ball. During hurricanes, our commissioners and other officials put in long hours to ensure that we are all prepared. After hurricanes, they put in a lot of overtime to get things back to normal. For sure, our local governments do a good job. It just happens that corruption does crop up often.
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