What is Gift?
The etymological tour of the gift begins in the Latin deb’ta, which translates as “debt“. From that word came dativum (“donation”),which resulted in dative. A gift, as stated by the Royal Spanish Academy in its dictionary, is something that is delivered free of charge.
For example: “The old billionaire was loved by the neighbors thanks to his constant gifts”, “The artist made several gifts during his stay in the country”, “People do not want gifts to subsist: it needs genuine work”.
While not its main meaning, the term gift is also associated with a gift, something one person gives to another to congratulate him on an important achievement or event in his life. As a wedding gift, for example, some people usually give newlyweds an envelope with money so that they can calmly decide what to invest it in, and this type of gift is often referred to as a gift.
The idea of a gift, however, usually appears linked to a crime: bribery, which consists of handing over a bribe or coima to corrupt someone. The act of bribing involves the granting of gifts to an official or an authority to carry out or cease to take any action, thus acting in an unlawful manner.
Let’s take the case of an inspector who must tour the restaurants of a city to analyze his bromatological situation. If this official finds something that jeopardizes the health of the diners, he has to close the establishment. One day, when he gets to a certain restaurant, he notices that there are cockroaches walking on food and even finds a rat in the middle of the kitchen. The owner of the premises, to avoid the closure, decides to try to bribe the inspector with a gift: an envelope with 5000 pesos inside. The official accepts the bribe and withdraws from the restaurant without taking any action. As you can tell, in accepting the gift this man incurred a fault since he did not fulfill his obligations.
It is important to note that the public official or authority usually requires a gift to ignore one of its obligations. This nuance makes this crime more serious than an exchange totally outside of professional activity, since the bribery usually entails the harm of many innocent people, either directly or indirectly; in the example above, those owners who keep their shops in order or who pay the fines they are fined are treated harder than those who give a gift to inspectors.
When the public official requests or accepts the gift in exchange for a certain action that he may carry out by his function, the bribery is called simple; However, if remuneration is used to fail to fulfill one of its obligations or to prevent another official from doing his or her job correctly, we are talking about qualified bribery. This last act does not always constitute a crime.
The bribery may also take place between individuals, outside the government, where the word bribe,mentioned above, is also used. In this case, for example, the employee of a private company may accept a gift from a third party in exchange for convincing his employer to make a decision that favors him, such as signing a sales contract.
Already in Ancient Rome there were examples of similar crimes, such as the delivery of gifts and other gifts with the aim of buying the votes of citizens, something that they tried to ban by the law called Cornelia Fulvia.