Transparency International, an NGO that tracks corruption, has downgraded Mexico from 72nd to 89th out of 180 (No. 1, New Zealand, is the most honest) countries in its 2009 annual index of perceived corruption, roughly a measure of what elites who live in each country believe to be the case in 13 different types of potential corruption. The methodology is complicated, but the website has an excellent explanation of how the index is derived. Mexico is tied with Rwanda, Lesotho, Morrocco, and Moldova, hardly known as bastions of Lincolnesque honesty.
The U.S. is ranked 19th, below a number of European countries, New Zealand, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Canada, and Hong Kong. Iraq and Afghanistan, both supported by U.S. troops in multi-billion dollar exercises, score 176 and 179 (out of 180), respectively. Several Latin American countries scored below Mexico, including Paraguay, Venezuela, and Haiti, near the bottom of the list.
Unfortunately, New Mexico is not ranked along with the 180 countries. You think it might score above Afghanistan?