Growing Corruption in the Americas: A Persistent Problem and Its Consequences

Growing Corruption in the Americas: A Persistent Problem and Its Consequences

Corruption remains a persistent problem in most countries in the Americas, showing no signs of improvement in the last five years. According to a report published by Transparency International, Venezuela, Haiti and Nicaragua are considered the most corrupt countries in the region.

On the other hand, Uruguay and Canada stand out as the countries with the lowest level of corruption. These rankings are based on the 2022 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which evaluates corruption in the public sector through the perception of experts and businessmen.

Corruption Perceptions Index

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is an indicator developed by Transparency International in 1995. It ranks 180 countries and territories according to perceptions of the level of corruption in the public sector.

It uses a scoring scale ranging from zero, for the most corrupt countries, to 100, for the least corrupt. The Transparency International report uses information from various external sources, such as the World Bank and the World Economic Forum, to compile the index.

The Americas: A worrisome setback

In recent years, the Americas have experienced a worrying setback in the fight against corruption. According to Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair of Transparency International, the region is seeing a rise in authoritarianism and populism, which negatively affects democracy.

These governments attack democratic institutions, such as the judiciary, oversight bodies, the media and the opposition, which favors corruption and the weakening of the rule of law.

Most Corrupt Countries in the Americas

According to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2022, Venezuela is considered the most corrupt country in the Americas, with a score of 14 points. It is followed by Haiti, with 17 points, and Nicaragua, with 19 points.

These countries face significant challenges in the fight against corruption, which has a direct impact on the quality of life of their citizens and the political stability of the region.

Least Corrupt Countries in the Americas

In contrast to the most corrupt countries, Uruguay and Canada are considered the least corrupt countries in the Americas, with a score of 74 points each. They are followed by the United States, with 69 points.

These countries have implemented effective measures to prevent and combat corruption, which is reflected in their position in the index.

Situation in Chile and Costa Rica

Historically, Chile and Costa Rica have been considered as countries with good performance in the fight against corruption in Latin America. However, according to the Transparency International report, these countries have not prioritized the fight against corruption and remain in the same position in the index, with 67 and 54 points respectively.

This indicates that there is still work to be done to strengthen institutions and prevent corruption in these countries.

Relationship between Corruption and Violence

Transparency International points out that there is a close relationship between corruption and violence. Countries with high levels of corruption often lack the capacity to protect their citizens, which contributes to an increase in violence.

This situation is observed in different countries, from Sudan to Brazil. Corruption weakens institutions and fuels public discontent, creating an environment conducive to violence and insecurity.

Global Corruption

Corruption is not only a problem in the Americas, but also affects the world. According to Transparency International, 95% of countries have not made significant progress in the fight against corruption since 2017.

This indicates the need to take stronger measures to combat this phenomenon globally.

Least and most corrupt countries in the world

Transparency International’s report also reveals the countries with the lowest and highest levels of corruption worldwide. Denmark tops the list as the least corrupt country, with a score of 90 points. It is followed by Finland and New Zealand, both with 87 points. On the other hand, Sudan and Somalia are considered the most corrupt countries, with a score of 13 points each.

Situation in Guatemala and other countries

The report highlights that Guatemala, along with 26 other countries, has achieved historically low levels of corruption, with a score of 24 points. Other countries, such as Qatar, with 58 points, and the United Kingdom, with 73 points, have also shown a decline in their index score.

These data show that the fight against corruption is an ongoing task and that no country is exempt from this challenge.

Consolidation of Criminal Networks

In the Americas, the lack of strong measures to combat corruption and strengthen public institutions has favored the consolidation of criminal networks. These networks wield considerable power over political actors and contribute to the deepening violence in the region.

To address this problem, leaders need to prioritize the fight against corruption and strengthen institutions to protect citizens and promote transparency.

Conclusions

Corruption remains a persistent challenge in most countries in the Americas, showing no significant improvement in recent years. This lack of strong measures to combat corruption and strengthen public institutions has led to the consolidation of criminal networks and increased violence in the region.

It is essential that leaders prioritize the fight against corruption and promote transparency to ensure the well-being of citizens and the sustainable development of the countries of the Americas.