Chile drops two spots in corruption index; 2nd most transparent in Latin America

The report reveals that the perception of corruption in the public sector in Latin American countries remains very high despite certain advances.

SANTIAGO – For the fourth consecutive year, Chile has scored a decline in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017, according to ranking presented by the NGO Transparency International (TI), dropping two posts compared to 2016.

The barometer measuring corruption ranges from 0 points, perception of high levels of corruption, and 100, as a perception of low levels of corruption.

Thus, with respect to the previous installment, Chile registered a one-point increase, from 66 to 67, but fell two places in the general classification, falling from position 24 to position 26.

Second least corrupt country in Latin America

The German organization placed Chile as the second least corrupt country in Latin America, only surpassed by Uruguay and leaving Costa Rica in third place.

This is the twenty-fifth edition of this ranking, which evaluates 180 countries, with Somalia and South Sudan being the last ones, while New Zealand and Denmark appear as the most transparent nations.

In the table of 180 nations, the worst ranked index is Venezuela in the 169th place with a score of 18. Haiti, Nicaragua and Guatemala are among the worst rated on the perception of corruption.

Other countries such as Paraguay, Mexico, Honduras, Ecuador and Bolivia obtained a score between 29 and 33, far from the best qualified in the entire American continent: Canada, with 82 points in transparency and an honorable eighth place in the world ranking.

Uruguay has a score of 70; Costa Rica, 59; Cuba, 47; Argentina, 39; while Brazil, Colombia, Panama and Peru, with 37.

The director of Chile Transparente, Alberto Precht, explained that this is the worst location our country has achieved, emphasizing that “we are in our worst historical position”.

“It is explained in different ways: First, that when investigating more cases of corruption – which is positive – a greater perception of corruption is generated and, on the other hand, there is a certain fatigue of the people who evaluate that the efforts are not enough to be able to return to the positions we were once,” he said.

The fall of Chile in the ranking occurs in the middle of investigations of corruption scandals such as Caval, Penta or Soquimich, which generated a series of legal modifications to improve transparency.

Given this, the socialist deputy Juan Luis Castro said that “Chile has to take much more drastic measures.” In the case of politics, the laws (Eduardo) Engel (former president of the Presidential Advisory Council against Corruption) were not enough, because, in fact, the definition that is being taken in all cases of Penta and SQM by the prosecution does not contribute to people perceiving that there are exemplary sanctions, but, on the contrary, there is a sense of impunity.”

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While his UDI counterpart, Juan Antonio Coloma, said that “we have to keep moving forward and perfecting”.

“For example, the money laundering law, the law to be able to make a complaint regarding corruption and in this Government, although we are making progress, it has been shown that it is not enough,” he added.

Meanwhile, countries that do not consider this issue a priority get worse every year, reveals the analysis. Transparency International recommends that fundamental changes be applied to the “financing of the policy, of public procurement and the strengthening of independent legal institutions” so that real changes can be noticed.