Byline: Mike Goodman, Patt Morrison; 1977-02-09; Los Angeles Times; pages B3Article Links
"In America, it is the bribe."In Russia, it is the 'vzyatka.' "And in Mexico, they call it 'mordidia,' the bite -- so much a way of life that even the dead are not beyond the power of a well-placed peso. . . . "
Description:Two [LA] Times reporters went to Tijuana posing as a sister and brother searching for a missing cousin. Their purpose was to investigate complaints by Americans who had been obliged to pay bribes of up to $1,000 to recover the bodies or possessions of loved ones who died in Mexico. They were accompanied by a Spanish-speaking San Diego mortuary employee who pretended to be a hired guard. "Within a few hours, after bribing a state police officer and a mortuary attendant, the two reporters were offered - for a price - the body of their 'cousin,' an unidentified derelict who had lain unclaimed in a mortuary for 29 days."
Rights: copyright, Los Angeles Times