Venezuela and Nicaragua repeatedly the most corrupt countries in Latin America with Mexico approaching them

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index developed by Transparency International (TI), the least corrupt countries in the region are Uruguay and Chile, while on a global scale the table is led by Denmark and New Zealand.

Image: TI
Image: TI

Uruguay and Chile are perceived as the least corrupt Latin American countries, while Venezuela and Nicaragua are in their antipodes, said Transparency International (TI) on Tuesday.

The Corruption Perceptions Index, which suspends 67% of the 183 countries analyzed, awards 70 points to Uruguay (23th place) and 67 to Chile (27th position) over a maximum of one hundred, for Venezuela's 18th and 25th ( 168) and Nicaragua (152). The table is led by Denmark and New Zealand, with 88 and 87 whole, and closed by Somalia and Syria, with 10 and 13.

In between, Costa Rica (56), Cuba (47), Argentina (40), Panama (37), Colombia (36), Brazil, El Salvador and Peru (35), Ecuador (34), Dominican Republic (30), Bolivia, Honduras and Paraguay (29), Mexico (28) and Guatemala (27).

The situation of the fight against corruption in Latin America is "worrisome," IT president Delia Ferreira warned in an interview with the news agency Efe, who denounced that there is a "clear tendency" to "restrict the space of civil society "in a region where authoritarian and populist leaders proliferate.

Regional photography begins with the "great problem" that Venezuela represents, a country in a "humanitarian crisis caused by corruption" and where all institutions have been infiltrated by the state, Ferreira described.

The document also includes the storm clouds over Mexico, which maintains the downward trend of recent years. According to the index, it went from one year to another (2018-2017) from places 135 to 138, from 180 nations evaluated.

The report also highlights the risk that regional referents such as the United States and Brazil entail presidents like Donald Trump and Jair Bolsonaro, as well as flashes of optimism from Ecuador, El Salvador and Argentina.

In Nicaragua "the regime has totally co-opted" the institutions, in Guatemala the government has transformed the bodies that act as arbitrators into "lapdogs" that only attack opponents, and in Mexico corruption is unleashed by the infiltration of organized crime into politics.

Brazil, still recovering from the "Lava Jato" and Odebrecht cases, is in a "very worrying" situation due to the arrival of Bolsonaro, whose first steps have been to increase controls on non-governmental organizations and weaken the law on access to public information, Ferreira continued.

The way of doing politics in the region is changing, adding to a global trend in which populist and authoritarian leaders are undermining democratic practices to weaken the system "from within," argues the TI report.

Argentina is one of the countries that improves with respect to the previous edition, due to its law of access to public information, although implementation is deficient, such as Ecuador and El Salvador, where judicial investigations have been initiated for corruption of former senior officials , including some former president.

TI underlines in the study the "link between corruption and democratic health" and corroborates it with data: the average score of those considered "full democracies" is 75 points, for 49 of the "imperfect democracies", 35 of the " hybrid regimes "and the 30 that, on average, obtain" autocratic "systems.