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.