Corruption blocks the ability of governments to provide basic services to citizens, undermines people's trust in democracy and is often tied to cross-border crime, including drug trafficking, organized crime and money laundering. Is our culture the birth place for this outrageous phenomenon?
The ugly truth is that in our culture, if the opportunity to take part, to take advantage of a position of power is in front of us, the vast majority of the population would do something similar to what the corrupt politicians of whom we complain so much do. In 2013 a measurement made in several Latin American countries found that for the population of the continent, corruption and insecurity are the most serious problems in the region. The shocking thing was that the 65% of the Latin Americas that answered affirmative to the statement “if you could evade taxes, skip the rules or break the law to obtain a personal gain, would you do it?”, which turns out to be the definition of corruption.
So, the Latin American Population is always complaining about politicians, governors, and blame the whole system for the outrageous outcomes of their acts, however, the blame is never on ourselves. And related to the question Latin Americans answered back then in 2013, dishonesty and corruption are not a politicians exclusive decision.
The governments of our nations, undoubtedly, have serious administrative problems, problems of ethics and honesty in the public service. Once again, leaders at the local or regional level show that in Latin America it is possible to govern ethically and democratically, but unfortunately they are few. That obviously results in the detriment of our society, increased inequality, poverty, insecurity.
We could use thousands of reasons, all with some degree of validity to explain what happens, such as class struggles, lack of education, foreign influence, globalization, lack of an independent and clean judicial system that enforces the law, lack of powers control, weak and corrupt democracies, and many more that are true.
But in the end, the majority of us live in democratic systems, as imperfect as this is and with all the problems it might have as a system, we are citizens, and we are not citizens only in order to receive rights but to commit to our society, we have the final responsibility for those who govern us, because they do it because we gave them our vote, or because we simply do not vote for who we thought should win. It is our duty to choose in a free, intelligent and conscious way, otherwise we will pay the consequences of our actions. And more important, let’s stop wondering why our politicians are corrupted when corruption is the main act of our everyday lives.