Venezuela and Nicaragua are perceived as the most corrupt countries in Latin America, and Uruguay and Chile as the cleanest, according to a report released Thursday by Transparency International (IT), which claims that the region has been unable to make significant progress.
At an international level, Denmark and New Zealand open the Corruption Perceptions Index (ICC), which close Somalia, South Sudan and Syria, in a ranking in which the German NGO sees a “stunning number” of countries with an improvement minimum or zero.
The regional coordinator for the Americas of IT, Teresita Chavez, lamented in an interview with Efe that Latin America has been “stuck” for four years, without registering improvements. “This shows that the region fails in the fight against corruption,” argued the expert, who related this scourge with protests in Chile and Panama.
In his view, the Latin American region faces “significant challenges of political leaders who act in their own interests at the expense of citizens” and emphasized the problems of party financing, public consultations on government action and electoral integrity. Corruption, he added, ends up “wearing down” democracy.
THE ODEBRECHT CASE
Chávez highlighted as symptomatic of the region the Odebrecht scandal, “one of the largest globally”, which spans ten Latin American countries where the Brazilian construction company entered through “donations” to parties in campaign.
Together with Uruguay (21, 71 points) and Chile (26, 67 points), only Costa Rica (56 points) approves among Latin Americans. Below are Cuba (48), Argentina (45), Ecuador (38), Colombia (37), Panama and Peru (36).
After these countries are Brazil (35), El Salvador (34), Bolivia (31), Mexico (29), Dominican Republic and Paraguay (28), Guatemala and Honduras (26). The Venezuela classification (173, 16 points) and Nicaragua (161, 22 points) are closed.
On the negative side, the regional coordinator highlighted the “disappointing” case of Honduras, which has just closed the Mission to Support Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH), the “worrying” situation in Brazil, where they have occurred ” no progress, “and the sharp falls in the ICC of Nicaragua and Venezuela.
These two countries, he added, have “much in common”: “many major violations of Human Rights,” “oppression of the opposition,” “poor public services” and government action without consulting citizens. In Venezuela, the “breakdown of democracy” is close to the point of “failed state,” he added.
With cautious optimism he perceived the evolution of Ecuador after the referendum and the launch of a national anti-corruption agency. “Improvement, but much remains to be done,” he explained.
THE FINANCING OF THE POLICY
In global terms, the IT report focuses its darts on “the corrupting role of ‘big money’ in the financing of political parties” and highlights the growing “frustration” with the illegitimate practices of governments and the lack of confidence in institutions, which it considers erodes democracy as a whole.
The report highlights that “the protests, from Latin America to North Africa, from Eastern Europe to Central Asia made headlines when citizens marched in Santiago (Chile), Prague, Beirut and other cities to give voice to their frustration in the streets “.
After Denmark and New Zealand they appear at the top of the IT table, in order, Finland, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Holland, Germany and Luxembourg. In the tail car, along with Somalia, South Sudan and Syria, they are positioned as the most corrupt countries in the world Yemen, Venezuela, Sudan, Equatorial Guinea, Afghanistan, North Korea and Libya.
Among the great powers, the United States deepens its fall after the collapse of last year and is ranked 23 (69 points), while China wins two integers (41) and advances seven positions, to 80. Russia, without just changes, is in the 137th place (28 points).
Spain earns four points with respect to the previous report, up to 62, and rises to the thirtieth position since 41. The improvement however does not serve to reach the European average, located in the 66 integers.
To tackle corruption, TI recommends strengthening controls between the different powers of the State, shielding electoral processes to ensure transparency, limiting economic influence in politics, avoiding “revolving doors” and encouraging the entire society to contribute to Decision-making process.