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More than a million people in Brazil protested in March last year against corruption at Petrobras and in Brazil. Here a rally in capital Brasilia. (Photo: Jose Cruz/Agencia Brasil)
Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Trade Talk

Latin America: Corruption Worsens


Brazil sees worst deterioration worldwide. Uruguay best, Venezuela worst in Latin America.

BY LATINVEX STAFF

Latin America saw a slight deterioration in corruption last year, according to a Latinvex analysis of the latest corruption perceptions index from Germany-based corruption watchdog Transparency International.

Ten countries saw declines in their scores, seven saw improvements and three saw no changes. Asa  result, the average score reached 37.4 points, down from 38 in the previous index a year earlier, according to the Latinvex analysis.

The index, which covers perceptions of public sector corruption in 168 countries, is based on expert opinions of public sector corruption. Countries’ scores can be helped by open government where the public can hold leaders to account, while a poor score is a sign of prevalent bribery, lack of punishment for corruption and public institutions that don’t respond to citizens’ needs. 

BRAZIL AND GUATEMALA: STRONG DECLINES

Brazil saw the worst decline globally and in Latin America, with its score falling five points to 38.

“Brazil was the biggest decliner in the index, falling 5 points and dropping 7 positions to a [global] rank of 76,” Transparency said. “The unfolding Petrobras scandal brought people into the streets in 2015 and the start of judicial process may help Brazil stop corruption.

Guatemala had the second-worst result after Brazil, falling four points on its score. Last year was marked by a corruption scandal tied to the customs service, which brought down the president, vice president and other top officials and led the country to elect a political novice, TV comedian Jimmy Morales, as its new president.

“The 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index clearly shows that corruption remains a blight around the world. But 2015 was also a year when people again took to the streets to protest corruption,” José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International, said in a statement. “People across the globe sent a strong signal to those in power: it is time to tackle grand corruption.”

URUGUAY AND PANAMA IMPROVE

Uruguay replaced Chile as the most transparency country in Latin America. Chile saw its score decline by 3 points thanks to corruption scandals both in the private and public sector.

Uruguay ranks slightly behind Japan globally, while Chile ranks ahead of France, according to the index.

And Panama, thanks to aggressive anti-corruption efforts there, improved its score. The country now ranks ahead of Brazil in transparency.

Globally, Brazil now ranks behind countries like Bosnia and Herzegovina when it comes to transparency, according to the index.

In Latin America, Haiti and Venezuela share the last place. Globally their shared rank of 158th place ranks them among the 11 worst countries in the world, according to Transparency International.


© Copyright Latinvex

 

 

Latin America Corruption: Best & Worst

Ranked by transparency rank

LA Rk

Gl Rk

Country

Score

Ch

1

21

Uruguay

74

1

2

23

Chile

70

-3

3

40

Costa Rica

55

1

4

56

Cuba

47

1

5

72

El Salvador

39

5

72

Panama

39

2

7

76

Brazil

38

-5

8

83

Colombia

37

9

88

Peru

36

-2

10

95

Mexico

35

11

99

Bolivia

34

-1

12

103

Dom. Rep.

33

1

13

107

Argentina

32

-2

13

107

Ecuador

32

-1

15

112

Honduras

31

2

16

123

Guatemala

28

-4

17

130

Nicaragua

27

-1

17

130

Paraguay

27

3

19

158

Haiti

17

-2

19

158

Venezuela

17

-2

Average

37.4

-1

LA Rk=Latin America rank

Gl Rk=Global rank

Ch: Change in score from 2014

Sources: Transparency International; Latinvex (change)

 

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