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'I just got totally raped by the police'

This video is a few months old. It shows an American driver getting stopped in Aguascalientes by a traffic cop who proceeds to tell him his fine comes to 6,400 pesos, or more than $500 US. The cop seems VERY eager to receive the cash immediately. The driver, who doesn't speak Spanish, says he's in a Budget rental car, but the cop insists that he doesn't have the proper "verification" for the car.

Finally, the cop takes some 600 pesos from the driver and tells him to scram.

As the American drives off, he says, "Dude! I just got totally raped by the police, dude! Hola Mexico! Viva Mexico!"

I'm glad he kept his good humor. Makes me recall a time a policeman stopped me outside Tegucigalpa, Honduras. When he saw my rental car contract, he said, "This isn't notarized." I could hardly stop laughing. I told him no auto rental contract is ever notarized. His bristles went up. It was only when I told him I was a journalist and started taking down his name and badge number that he relented.


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That reminds me of a book I read by an academic living in mid-1990s Mexico, in one of the colonia. He said that his American plates tended to draw the Mexican police, so he would literally just ignore them following him until he got to a university, whereupon they'd give up and leave.

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This blog is written by Tim Johnson, the Mexico bureau chief for McClatchy Newspapers.

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