Meet the Anti-Corruption Bus That Gives Free Tours to Inform Citizens

A group of young activists in Mexico’s northern industrial city of Monterrey believe that on of their biggest problems revolves around corruption. But, instead of simply complaining about it, they’ve found a funny and smart way of teaching citizens more about exposing the abuse of power and misuse of public funds.
Corruptor bus 1 photo
Photo: Corruptor on Facebook
Ranked 106 out of 177 countries in Transparency International’s 2013 index based on perceived levels of public corruption, Mexico’s reform in combating graft is still considered to be quite slow. President Pena Nieto did send a raft of legislation to combat graft to Congress, including a bill that would create an authority to investigate political corruption, but these changes take time.

Dubbed Via Ciudadana, the organization believes that a lot of people need to know more about the way the system functions, to learn more about those politicians who simply use their power to their own interest. So they decided to create a free touring service where they would take people around 10 city landmarks while a recording plays, detailing how public money has been reportedly misspent and siphoned off at these places.

Corupt politicians are shamed

The bus was painted with the faces of local politicians alongside pigs and rats holding bags of money. The activists even encourage people to vote for politicians who they believe are best fitted on the vehicle’s exterior on their website. The bus tour aims to fight indifference and impulse people to get involved.

The route includes the extremes: it shows both rows of box-like small homes built for poor families without proper urban planning and services, and infamous opulent buildings, such as Casino Royale, where 52 people died in a 2011 arson attack that police blamed on drug traffickers.

As midterm elections - when Mexico is due to vote its lower house - are getting closer, the organization is also trying to put pressure on the candidates. They want people to know that voting is their major weapon in dismissing corrupt politicians.

During the one-hour tour dirty local politicians are named and shamed, cited by their full names, while people on the bus are encouraged to tell their stories about experiences that prove their point.

We believe it is time that citizens take the reins of government and give us the opportunity to become independent candidates without having to belong to a political party.

Even though the clever service is only a couple of months young, it seems it already got quite popular.

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