By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Jan. 31, 2023: Corruption in the Caribbean and Latin America continues to be a major issue for this region. Transparency International today released its latest Corruption Perceptions Index, (CPI), on corruption globally, the leading measurement for public sector corruption worldwide. Here are the countries in the Caribbean and Latin America perceived as most corrupt per the CPI, as analyzed by News Americas:
The Index is the most widely used global corruption ranking in the world. It measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be, according to experts and businesspeople. The CPI ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean). A country’s score is the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0-100, where 0 means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean. A country’s rank is its position relative to the other countries in the index. Ranks can change merely if the number of countries included in the index changes. The rank is therefore not as important as the score in terms of indicating the level of corruption in that country.
The Six Countries Perceived As Most Corrupt In The Caribbean
Haiti was again deemed the most corrupt nation in the Caribbean, scoring just 17 out of 100 points and ranking at 171 globally on the CP Index that ranks 180 countries globally. Haiti dropped three places down the index from 2021.
2: Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic was listed as the second most corrupt nation, scoring 32 points out of 100 and ranking 123 out of 180. But the country gained four points from 2021, meaning it show some improvements since last year. Transparency International said this was because the DR strengthened the independence of its justice and oversight bodies, enhancing transparency in public procurement, and enacting an asset forfeiture law ─ a key legal instrument to combat corruption and organized crime. However, the slow pace of the judicial processes has hampered progress with convictions for corruption, TI said. “There is concern in Dominican society that the courts are not living up to the strong national demand to advance in the fight against corruption and crime,” the report added.
Guyana ranks as the third most corrupt in the Caribbean region, scoring 40 out of 100 and ranking 85 out of 180. However, the country gained a point since last year, proving it showing some improvements since last year. Still TI said that while the country has significantly risen in the CPI over the last 12 years, it has recently stagnated even though “the oil-rich nation must still place stronger emphasis on building a well-functioning democratic system and implement greater levels of transparency and oversight, especially in the extractive industry.”
But the report noted that “corruption in this sector implies the loss of billions of dollars, which could be used to improve public services and development in one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere.”
4: Trinidad & Tobago
Trinidad & Tobago is the fourth most corrupt according to the latest Index, ranking at 77 out of 180 nations globally with a 42 out of 100 score. However, the country is showing some improvements since last year, moving up one point. Transparency International said 61 percent of people in Trinidad and Tobago consider the police corrupt.
Jamaica scored 44 out of 100 to take the fifth spot as it showed no improvements from 2021 to remain at 69. According to Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer for 2019, 50 per cent of people consider the police corrupt in Jamaica, and there is lack of trust in the national police.
Cuba took the sixth spot with a rank of 65 globally and a score of 45, dropping by one from 2021.
The Six Countries Perceived As The Most Corrupt In Latin America
Venezuela is considered the most corrupt country in Latin America, with a score of just 14 and a rank globally of 177, with no change from 2021. TI says illegal business represented 21 per cent of its 2021 GDP and criminal groups exercise vast control over gold mining operations, using extortion and paying off military commanders to maintain their illegal activities. “These groups are responsible for human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, the killing of indigenous leaders and the displacement of their communities, forced prostitution, and labor exploitation of both adults and children, as well as contamination and other serious environmental crimes,” the report added.
Nicaragua is listed as the second most corrupt in the region based on the rankings, with a score of just 19 out of 100 and a global rank of 167. The country dropped by one point from 2021, meaning its getting worst not better.
Honduras scored 23 out of 100 to place it at third on the most perceived corrupt nation in Latin America. It ranked 157, changing little from 2021. In Honduras, TI says extortion of small businesses and ordinary citizens by criminal gangs is a significant problem that goes unpunished. “It holds back economic development and heightens insecurity with illegal flows of money going to the financial system,” the report added. It is estimated that Hondurans pay US$737 million per year on extortion, representing 16 per cent of the country´s annual GDP.
Guatemala ranked 150th globally, scoring just 24 points out of 100 to take the fourth most corrupt place in Latin America. Nothing has changed with the country dropping by one point from 2021, meaning the perception of corruption is worst. In Guatemala, TI says the fight against corruption is led almost exclusively by civil society organizations and independent media, with support from the international community. However, the co-opting of justice institutions and the criminalization of actors who report corruption has triggered human rights abuses against journalists, activists, indigenous peoples and prosecutors. The unjustified arrests of the journalist José Rubén Zamora and former prosecutors Virginia Laparra and Samari Gómez are emblematic examples, the report said.
Paraguay ranked as the fifth most corrupt country in Latin America, scoring just 28 points and ranking at 137 globally. The perception of corruption in the South American nation is also getting worse not better with TI saying it dropped by two points from 2021.
Rounding out the 6 nations in Latin America perceived as most corrupt is Mexico. The Latin American nation scored just 31 points out of 100 and ranked just 126th out of 180 nations globally. It also showed no improvements on fighting corruption since 2021.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Americas scored an average of 43 out of 100 in the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). “A lack of bold, decisive action to fight corruption and strengthen public institutions is fueling organized criminal activities, undermining democracy and human rights, and threatening the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” the report stated. “This is, in turn, sparking violence, environmental damage and migration across the hemisphere.”
“Leaders can fight corruption and promote peace all at once,” added Daniel Eriksson, Chief Executive Officer, Transparency International. “Governments must open up space to include the public in decision-making – from activists and business owners to marginalized communities and young people. In democratic societies, the people can raise their voices to help root out corruption and demand a safer world for us all.”
ABOUT THE LIST
Each country’s score is a combination of at least 3 data sources drawn from 13 different corruption surveys and assessments. These data sources are collected by a variety of reputable institutions, including the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. The CPI specifically covers the following manifestations of public sector corruption in the following areas:
Diversion of public funds
Officials using their public office for private gain without facing consequences
Ability of governments to contain corruption in the public sector
Excessive red tape in the public sector which may increase opportunities for corruption
Nepotistic appointments in the civil service
Laws ensuring that public officials must disclose their finances and potential conflicts of interest
Legal protection for people who report cases of bribery and corruption
State capture by narrow vested interests
Access to information on public affairs/government activities.
Since its inception in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has become the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. The Index scores 180 countries and territories around the world based on perceptions of public sector corruption, using data from 13 external sources, including the World Bank, World Economic Forum, private risk and consulting companies, think tanks and others. The scores reflect the views of experts and businesspeople.