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Mexicans have 300 different ways of referring to corruption

Language is shaped by a people’s environment. Inuits famously have more than 50 words for snow, while Hawaiians have 65 to describe fishnets. In Mexico, there are 300 terms to refer to corruption.

They are compiled in a new book, the “Mexican Corruptionary,” a tongue-in-cheek effort to get Mexicans to own up to their corrupt behavior, which costs their country’s economy billions of dollars a year and has wreaked social havoc by undermining its institutions. It was put together by Opciona, a civil society group that seeks to improve civility in Mexico under the motto #EmpiezaPorTi, or start with you.

Mexicans rank corruption as their second biggest concern (link in Spanish) after insecurity and crime—which in turn can be linked to corruption via dirty elected officials. (See G, for Góber, short for governor. )

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