Reporters on the Job

Taciturn in Tashkent: Uzbek police come in two varieties, Monitor staff writer Scott Peterson found out in Tashkent (page 7). Yes, you definitely can find traffic cops worthy of the title "officer friendly." But Scott watched one night as another kind broke up a loud late-night birthday party. Three policemen, an out-of-uniform supervisor, and a camouflage-clad commando look-alike - brandishing an assault rifle and helmet - raided the party, complaining that too much fun was being had too late in the evening. "Even the Tashkent regulars were surprised," Scott says. "They had never seen anything like that before" - perhaps a reflection of the recent tension in the capital.

Filling the Bucket: Getting pulled over by the police is a common occurrence for drivers in Mexico City, says contributor Monica Campbell. And the common response is to pay a bribe (this page) and continue on one's way. "People recognize that doing so doesn't put any pressure for change on the system, but they also feel that taking a stand doesn't seem to have an effect," Monica notes.

But one friend has refused to yield. She is a lawyer and if pulled over, she tells the officer that she is an attorney and that she can't pay bribes because she is trying to fight corruption. The cops usually let her go. She told Monica that one drop in the bucket will fill it up some day.

Amelia Newcomb
Deputy world editor

Cultural Snapshot

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