Anti-corruption campaigner from Chile elected to TI Board; resolutions on gendered corruption, protection of journalists, and tax fraud adopted
Members of Transparency International – the world’s leading anti-corruption organisation – from 104 countries, recently gathered in Copenhagen, Denmark (20-21 October 2018), to discuss responses and solutions to some of the most pressing corruption challenges worldwide, at the organisations’ Annual Membership Meeting.
At the meeting, Alberto Precht Rorris, a lawyer and Executive Director of the Chilean TI National Chapter, was elected to the Board of Transparency International. Addressing the meeting, Alberto stated, “Today, we must act with determination and courage, making of our weakness the strength we need to fight against those that violate human rights, misappropriate citizen’s resources and destroy our democracies.”
With more than two decades’ experience working in anti-corruption, Alberto’s areas of expertise are access to information, open government, anti-corruption, and administrative law. He has been the Executive Director of the Chilean Chapter of Transparency International since 2014, having previously served as the President of the Commission for Transparency and Ombudsman at the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency, and was Executive Director of the newspaper network Mi Voz between 2005 and 2007.
The Annual Membership Meeting also debated and passed resolutions on critical issues for the Transparency International movement, including protecting the rights of journalists, human rights defenders and activists to expose corruption. Among the top resolutions was a demand for governments to act on gendered corruption, including sextortion, a warning on the imperative to protect journalist and a call to bring to justice those individuals, banks and companies responsible for the “cum-cum” and “cum-ex” fraud in Europe.
The external resolutions adopted by the Annual Membership Meeting 2018 are:
1. Gendered corruption, including sextortion, is an aggravated type of corruption, which deepens gender inequality, hinders women’s empowerment and constitutes a clear violation of human rights.
2. Transparency International Movement is committed to acting against gendered corruption and demands governments:
a) To produce disaggregate data on the impact of corruption on women.
b) To mainstream gender perspective in anti-corruption public policy design, implementation and monitoring.
3. Transparency International Movement is committed to mainstreaming the gender perspective in all its programs, activities and policies both at TI-S and National Chapters level.
The protection of journalists and of their work
We urge States to protect the life, rights (including right to a fair trial) and freedom of all citizens, in particular but not limited to journalists, human rights defenders, anti-corruption activists and whistle-blowers, to request, receive, analyse and publish information.
This call of the global anti-corruption movement, Transparency International, is also an obligation of States according to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Articles 13 and 33 of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, and regional human rights conventions.
Investigations by non-State actors are critical to the uncovering of abuses of power, especially in countries where authorities are unwilling to do so. The increasing frequency of attacks, both physical and by other means like vexatious litigation (e.g., SLAPP), and killings of those who seek to expose corruption, are a sign that corrupt networks are attempting to silence those who might expose them. We also call on States to undertake all necessary investigations to uncover those networks, their interests and their main beneficiaries, and bring them to justice.
Between 2006 and the current year, the effective theft of tax monies to the tune of an alleged
€55 billion has been undertaken by banks and investment advisors, also involving other intermediaries, via so-called "cum-cum" and "cum-ex" transactions. This extraordinary level of tax fraud and corruption has denied Germany and many other predominantly European countries of tax revenues, which would have been available to fund investment and social services for the benefit of the people of these European countries.
Recognising that corrupt behaviour is often an integral part of such tax scandals, Transparency International calls for:
- the continuation and completion of law enforcement investigations, in collaboration between the affected countries,
- the prosecution of individuals, banks and companies,
- the disgorgement of profits and the imposition of appropriate fines and jail sentences.
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