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Uruguay and Chile, the least corrupt “in a corrupt continent”

Wednesday, January 26th 2022 - 14:28 UTC
Full article 3 comments
Uruguay gained two points since 2020 and ranks as the “least corrupt in a corrupt continent”. Uruguay gained two points since 2020 and ranks as the “least corrupt in a corrupt continent”.

Corruption in Latin America is one of the most notorious problems on the region's agenda after a decade of major judicial operations that exposed corruption schemes involving governments and companies alike. According to Transparency International (TI), corruption has been entrenched in Latin America for more than a decade with little progress and many setbacks in terms of democracy and human rights.

TI published on Tuesday the tenth edition of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) for 2021, in which it warned of the special deterioration of this index in Central America, where authoritarianism is advancing. However, it also speaks of the data of the last decade in consolidated democracies such as Chile or Uruguay, the best in the ranking of the most unequal region of the planet.

Uruguay and Chile top this list with 73 and 67 points respectively out of a maximum of 100, while Venezuela (14) and Nicaragua (20) remain the most corrupt countries in the region according to the CPI.

Virtually no country can boast of significant improvements over the last ten years in which the index has been published, as the vast majority have barely made any progress or even slipped backwards in the ranking that TI compiles every year.

Uruguay gained two points since 2020 and ranks as the “least corrupt in a corrupt continent”.

These countries are followed by Costa Rica, with 58 points, Cuba (46) and Colombia (39). Brazil and Argentina tie with a low score (38) and are followed by Ecuador, Panama, Peru (36), El Salvador (34), Mexico (31), Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Paraguay (30), Guatemala (25) and Honduras (23).

The report compares the evolution of the countries over the last 10 years and notes that Paraguay is the only one that has significantly improved its score; Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela have fallen considerably.

Luciana Torchiaro, TI's regional advisor for Latin America, explained to EFE that this stagnation has not only “undermined democracy and human rights”, but has also increased poverty and inequality rates and affected the fight against the pandemic.

Top Comments

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  • Marti Llazo

    One of the problems in quantifying corruption in Chile is that so few are willing to acknowledge that what they do is actually corrupt, as if those “favours” weren't actually bits of corrupt activity. The country is in fact massively corrupt but people are in denial about it. It's one thing to “wash the dirty laundry at home” but it's quite another to pretend that the laundry isn't dirty. And it is very dirty, though it can never hope to reach the stature of that Queen of Corruption next door in Argentina.

    Jan 26th, 2022 - 04:47 pm 0
  • FortHay

    Fair enough, Marti Llazo, but the relative comparison probably still holds up. In Brazil, corruption is virtually a lifestyle, but even there the majority of manipulators pretend nothing untoward is taking place. In the US, rated far above Latin America, “favours” are merely disguised more skillfully

    Jan 26th, 2022 - 05:51 pm 0
  • Marti Llazo

    Yes, let us consider not absolute values but instead the “relative comparison” for corrupt Latin American nations -- not unlike praising the happiest lunatic in the asylum, or the most enjoyable form of lung cancer.

    Jan 27th, 2022 - 12:28 pm 0
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