Mexican medical inspectors required to use body cameras

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. corruption / kəˈrʌp ʃən / (n.) – dishonest or illegal behavior, especially by people in powerful positions

    They are investigating some local government officials for corruption.

  2. riddle / ˈrɪd l / (v.) – to fill with something bad or unpleasant

    Their office has been riddled with several problems.

  3. intimidation / ɪnˌtɪm ɪˈdeɪ ʃən / (n.) – the act of frightening or threatening someone to make that person do what you want him/her to do

    Intimidation by political groups is one of the risks of working as a reporter.

  4. integrity / ɪnˈtɛg rɪ ti / (n.) – the quality of being honest and fair and having strong moral principles

    He’s a man of integrity and is respected by everyone who knows him.

  5. discretionary / dɪˈskrɛʃ əˌnɛr i / (adj.) – able to be decided by a person based on his/her own judgment, rather than by following a set of rules

    Donating to charity is discretionary.


Read the text below.

Medical regulatory inspectors in Mexico have earned such a reputation for corruption that starting Oct. 23, they have been required to wear body cameras to guard against improper conduct.

The federal health regulation agency rolled out the first body cameras in the Gulf coast state of Campeche. 

The agency — known as the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Health Risks — has been so riddled with corruption in the past that employees would physically hide applications for the approval of new drugs unless pharmaceutical firms paid bribes to get their medicines approved.

At one point earlier this year, corruption — allegedly including employees demanding bribes from health care outlets in exchange for not closing them down — became so bad that marines entered the agency’s Mexico City offices to root out offenders.

The agency said the bodycams would also protect the inspectors against any possible acts of intimidation.

The agency said in a statement the bodycams — which would tape inspectors as they interact with health care professionals and companies — “have the main aim of promoting integrity in federal public servants, and promote the prevention of discretionary acts.”

Bertha Alcalde Luján, a top official of the commission, said the bodycams were also meant to protect agency personnel “who are often subject to intimidation during their duties, and in some cases, unjustly accused.”

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Do you think the use of bodycams can successfully eliminate corruption among the Mexican medical inspectors? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what should be done to medical inspectors caught in the act of corruption for the first time (ex. written warning, immediate dismissal)? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What are some ways to promote integrity in an organization, institution, or government (ex. having good leadership, giving rewards or recognition)? Discuss.
  • What is your opinion of government employees’ discretionary acts (ex. they are unavoidable, they should be totally prevented)? Why? Discuss.