New Frontiers in Political Reform


With nothing interesting to say about the 9/11 anniversary, I point you instead to a Washington Post story I somehow missed on Monday:

ECATEPEC, Mexico—Park where you like, speed if you want to, run a red light, don't bother renewing your driver's license and let that seat belt flap in the wind. Nobody's going to bust you as long as Mayor Eruviel Avila Villegas is in charge.

Avila's first official act when he took office last month was to abolish parking and traffic fines in this city of 2.5 million people just north of Mexico City. Avila, 34, a soft-spoken lawyer with curly hair, is nobody's anarchist. He's just looking for radical new ways to solve one of Mexico's most annoying problems: cops demanding bribes.

The mayor's theory is that if police officers can't threaten drivers with tickets, they can't shake them down. "We are renewing and revolutionizing our city," he said. "People will always speed. They will always park illegally. But this way they won't have to pay bribes."