A Retired Postal Worker Comments On Remittances And The Mexican Postal System
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Re; M. A. Gonzales’s article A Business Woman Says Taxing Immigrant Remittances Would Be NO PROBLEMA

From: A Retired Postal Worker [Email him]

I just read M. A. Gonzales’s article on remittances. You would think that to get around this, the immigrants would just send the money through the mail in cash, via letters or packages. I am retired from the U. S. Postal Service and I know that will not work. Prior to political correctness we would warn our customers not to send anything of value either in a letter or a package to any non-white or Communist country because it would never make it as it would be stolen.

And I suspect those immigrants know their countrymen well and would not do it because they know better.

On a side note, theft in our postal system, once almost unheard of, is now not so rare and I often see stories in the media or hear from individuals I know who still work in the postal service.

James Fulford writes: A 2008 Associated Press article on Mexico’s postal system described it as “notoriously unreliable” and even “infamous” and riddled with crime:

But in a country where mail theft is widespread and letters often arrive weeks after they're sent, the public is skeptical.

"I don't trust it," Mexico City resident Beatriz Stern said as she mailed a "very important letter" at a post office sporting a fresh coat of pink paint. She said she went there only because she doesn't believe anyone bothers to collect mail from the country's red street-corner mailboxes.

"They say it was faster in colonial times, when they used horses and carriages," Stern said.

Thieves plunder mail Then there's crime.

In 2003, police captured a gang of thieves who stole thousands of U.S. Social Security checks bound for retired workers in Mexico.

And in February, legislators demanded a federal investigation after police found several tons of opened and undelivered letters, most from the United States, at a home in the border town of Ciudad Juarez. Three postal workers were charged with stealing the correspondence, some of which dated back to the 1990s.

Just a couple of years ago, the entire postal system had only seven inspectors. Now, 170 inspectors are on duty — many with new pink-and-green bicycles or motorcycles to help chase down fraud, Carpinteyro said.

Many expatriates don't even bother with Mexico's postal service. Chris Davis, an English teacher from Philadelphia who lives in Mexico City, said he doesn't "even take the risk" of having packages sent from the United States.

"I ask people who are coming down to bring things," he said.

Mexico's postal service gets hot-pink makeover, September 9, 2008




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