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Latino Daily News

Thursday December 1, 2011

Chile, Uruguay Deemed Most Transparent, Least Corrupt Countries in Region

Chile and Uruguay are the leaders in transparency in Latin America, while Venezuela and Paraguay are perceived as the most corrupt, according to a report published yesterday by Transparency International (TI).

In the 2011 edition of the now traditional Index of Perception of Corruption (CPI), only three of the twenty countries in the Latin American region pass in perceived transparency in the public sector. “Chile sets the standard and the rest of the countries in Latin America follow little by little.”

“This is a letter of congratulations for Chile, but also a recommendation for them to put the bars even higher,” said Alejandro Salas, the director of TI for Latin America. In his judgment, most Latin American countries that scored low on the index suffer from “weak institutionalism,” where the government or the principal political actor - whether left or right wing - is “very strong,” and therefore “there is no balance of power.”

On a scale of 0 (very corrupt) to 10 (very transparent), Chile (7.2) occupies position 22 of the 1,083 countries analyzed. Uruguay (7) is at 25 and Puerto Rico (5.6) is at 39, while Nicaragua (2.5), Paraguay (2.2) and Venezuela (1.9) occupy the tail end, in positions 134,154 and 172 respectively.

Close to being approved are Costa Rica (4.8), and Cuba (4.2), followed by Brazil (3.8) - better than China - Colombia (3.4), El Salvador (3.4) and Panama (3.3). Argentina and Mexico are at 3 - the same level as Malawi and Indonesia - and a continuation of the rankings they place Bolivia (2.8), Ecuador (2.7), Guatemala (2.7), Dominican Republic (2.6) and Honduras (2.6).

In comparison with last year, most Latin American countries that were analyzed underwent minimal changes, with the positive exceptions being Cuba and El Salvador, which showed substantial improvements, while Costa Rica declined.