What do FIFA, Petrobras and Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali all have in common? They are symbolic cases of grand corruption nominated by the public for our Unmask the Corrupt campaign. Grand corruption is a crime that seriously harms individuals and societies and often goes unpunished.
Transparency International Chair José Ugaz launched our global search for these cases in Peru on Thursday. The contest launch event took place atop Morro Solar, a hill on the coast of Lima where a large statue of Jesus was erected in 2011. We have renamed this statue the Anti-Corruption Christ because it was "donated" to the previous Peruvian government by the Brazilian company Odebrecht, which is now involved in serious corruption allegations.
Some of the early nominations fall into people’s definition of the most corrupt person, or company or organisation in the world. Others, like the nomination for the state of Delaware, serve as powerful examples of how the corrupt are able to use anonymous companies to buy luxury yachts or real estate, or pay for lawyers to protect them. These secret companies are based in places like Delaware, which actively promotes the secrecy surrounding the companies registered there.
– José Ugaz, Chair, Transparency International (Source: EFE)
At the launch event actors from the Yuyachkani cultural group wore costumes representing cultures around the globe. They threw fake cash into the air while dancing with the words "extortion", "nepotism", "abuse of power" and "grand corruption" emblazoned on their costumes.
Transparency International’s contest has already received 243 nominations. New nominations from the public, via a secure website, will be accepted on www.unmaskthecorrupt.org until 30 November 2015. The symbols of corruption are everywhere, send us the ones that make you angriest!
On 9 December, to mark International Anti-Corruption Day, the public will vote to choose the most potent symbol of grand corruption. The votes will be received until 10 February 2016.
When the voting is over, we will publicise the two most potent symbols of corruption chosen by the public and look into the best and most effective sanctions against them.
DEFINITION OF GRAND CORRUPTION
The abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.
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Unrelenting pressure on those who act corruptly with impunity will become a hallmark of Transparency International’s advocacy.