For this report, we sought to pierce the common understanding of corruption and prepare intelligence sourced from the ground and focused on the day-to-day reality based on a composite of Southern Pulse sources that regulate, work inside of, or rely upon the Mexican freight industry. After conducting our OSINT exercise, our team focused the broad category of investigation into a realistic scope and prepared a corruption typology to frame our analysis. Organized into nine separate “clusters,” we present our typology in the strategic discussion section. Each cluster is then presented on a chart, where we provide the relationship each cluster has along the axis of organization and money, high and low.
With the typology in place, we identified a route along regularly trafficked points in Mexico from Manzanillo to Nuevo Laredo, including the cities of Guadalajara, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, and Monterrey. Our asymmetrical collections teams and field investigators focused their efforts on finding examples of each typology in each location. For ease of readability, using actual examples of corrupt practices identified in our field research, we constructed a narrative in the tactical discussion that outlines for the reader a range of corrupt practices likely to be encountered by shippers and logistics providers at various points across Mexico.
Our 25 sources for this report were located in eight cities: Manzanillo, Mexico City, Monterrey, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí, Nuevo Laredo, Guadalajara, and Tijuana. They include: federal senators and representatives, private port operators, transport operators, logistics security operators, officials with the Mexican Justice Department and Mexican Public Security Department, independent truck drivers, academics, members of a truck driver union, lobbyists, current and former employees with PEMEX, directors with private cargo companies in Mexico, mid-level management employees with other private companies in Mexico, and Mexico security managers for Fortune 100 companies among others.
Finally, a series of maps that offer a visual presentation of corruption along the aforementioned routes in Mexico, follow in the annex.