Latin America: Two thirds of the continent failed the corruption index

According to Transparency International, Venezuela is the most corrupt country on the continent while Uruguay and Chile are the less fraudulent

Latin America: Two thirds of the continent failed the corruption index

Leer en español: Latinoamérica: Dos tercios del continente reprueban índice de corrupción

In the annual study of Transparency International, on the perception of corruption in the public sector, it is observed that in many Latin American and Caribbean countries there are advances in the fight against this scourge. However, the region still records high levels of corruption.

The Latin American country with the worst perception of corruption is Venezuela, ranked 169 out of a total of 180 countries. The oil exporter is going through "a total humanitarian crisis", said the president of the organization based in Germany, Delia Ferreira. The president described that corruption affects the entire public system of the South American country.

The next four worst scores in the region were recorded in Haiti (157), Nicaragua (151), and Guatemala (143). Of the total of 32 American nations evaluated, 21 obtained a score lower than 51 on a scale of 100. It should be noted that the lower scores are indicative of a greater perception of corruption.

Best evaluated

As in recent years, the Latin American countries with the best positions were Uruguay, in 23rd place, and Chile, in 26th place.

In the most transparent countries, there are still cases of corruption. However, what "makes a difference", according to Ferreira, are independent investigations to arrest those responsible. An example of this is the case of the ex-vice president of Uruguay, Raúl Sendic, who was forced to resign after discovering that he paid personal expenses with a corporate credit card of the state oil company.

On the other hand, Chile has yielded six positions in the last five years. Analysts from the southern country believe that this setback is linked to cases of illegal financing of political campaigns.

The Corruption Perceptions Index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is the most corrupt and 100 is the most transparent. The score is calculated based on the assessments of experts and entrepreneurs from each of the countries studied.

The interannual variations in the corruption index are usually minimal. For this reason, the increase of three points in Argentina and two integers in the case of Haiti and Peru is noteworthy.

New Zealand, Denmark, and Finland occupy the first three places in the world ranking. However, the reality for two thirds of the countries analyzed is to have government systems with high levels of corruption. The average perception of corruption score is 43 globally and 44 in the Americas.

Journalists persecuted

This year's report compares data on the exercise of journalism and levels of corruption. The study found that every week a journalist is murdered in a country with a high level of corruption.

The previous statistics summarizes the trend of attacks on journalists in the last six years. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, more than 9 out of 10 journalists were killed in countries with scores of 45 or lower on the Corruption Perceptions Index. It should be noted that the investigation of cases of corruption was the occupation of one in five journalists killed in the last six years.

Brazil is a critical case regarding the defenselessness of journalists. With a score of 37 in the corruption index of 2017, 20 journalists were killed in the last six years. Transparency International warns that the most risky issues for reporters in Brazil are investigating corruption in local governments and crime linked to drug trafficking.

Transparency International emphasizes, among its recommendations to fight corruption, measures to strengthen freedom of expression and ensure conditions for journalists to do their work without fear of violent reprisals.

Latin American Post | César Noriega
Translated from “ Latinoamérica: Dos tercios del continente reprueban índice de corrupción”

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