About 1 in 3 people using public services in Latin America and Caribbean paid a bribe in past year

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: ES


Governments in Latin America and the Caribbean are failing to meet their citizens’ demands to combat corruption, according to a Transparency International survey of more than 22,000 people in 20 countries across the region. Despite protests against corruption in countries such as Brazil, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela in the past year, close to two-thirds (62%) of those surveyed said that corruption had increased.

Transparency International’s new report People and Corruption: Latin America and the Caribbean, which is part of the Global Corruption Barometer series, found that 29 per cent of citizens who had used six key public services – school, hospitals, acquiring ID documents, utilities, police and courts – in the past 12 months paid a bribe. This is equivalent to an estimated 90 million people in the 20 countries surveyed.

“The people of Latin America and the Caribbean are being let down by their governments, their political class and their private sector leaders. The Lava Jato case, which has made a tremendous impact in the region, demonstrates that corruption is far too prevalent. Bribery represents a means for enrichment of the few, and a significant barrier to accessing key public services, particularly for the most vulnerable in society,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

28 per cent of people who reported corruption suffered from retaliation. This could explain why although whistleblowing is seen as culturally acceptable across the region, and 70 per cent of citizens believe that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption, only nine per cent come forward to report bribes.

People do not trust the police. Along with politicians, the police were seen as the most corrupt public institution, with 47 per cent of respondents saying that most or all officers were corrupt.

“The past year has seen governments across the region rocked by corruption scandals, and Venezuela descend deeper and deeper into crisis. But this report shows that citizens’ demands for accountability and transparency are not being met by their leaders. Governments must do more to root out corruption at all levels, especially in law enforcement agencies, which should play a key role in fighting impunity. They must strengthen mechanisms for the investigation and prosecution of the corrupt and increase the protection of those who speak out against corruption,” said Ugaz.

Transparency International calls on governments to strengthen their judicial systems, fight police corruption, and support their citizens who are willing to report corruption. They must create accessible and anonymous reporting channels for whistleblowers, and protect them and their families from retaliation.

Across the region governments get bad marks for fighting corruption. On average more than half the people surveyed said their government performed poorly. In Venezuela and Peru, over 70 per cent of those questioned gave a negative verdict.

Other key findings include:

Note to editors: To see the full report click here. To see the previous reports from the Global Corruption Barometer series on Asia Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Africa, and the Middle East and North Africa click here, here, here and here


For any press enquiries please contact

Natalie Baharav
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Latest

Support Transparency International

Support Us

What people think: corruption in the Middle East & North Africa

Momentum has been building against corruption for years in the Middle East and North Africa. From Lebanon and Sudan, where millions of people took to the streets earlier this year to speak out against their governments, to the Arab revolutions that toppled corrupt leaders nearly a decade ago, people are fed up with rampant corruption across the region.

Wasta: How personal connections are denying citizens opportunities and basic services

In many Arab countries the use of personal connections, or “wasta” in Arabic, is a common practice and a social norm. People use their family or social contacts to skip the line and gain quicker and better access to basic goods and services. How much you can increase the speed and quality of your service often depends on who you know – the higher the better, of course.

Sextortion: Middle East and North Africa

Sextortion is one of the most significant forms of gendered corruption and although women’s rights have advanced unevenly across the Middle East and North Africa, positive momentum has been building in the region over the last decade.

Lack of political integrity is undermining trust in democracy in Middle East and North Africa

The Global Corruption Barometer – Middle East and North Africa 2019 reveals that leaders in the region are perceived as acting in their own self-interest at the expense of the citizens they are meant to serve. This has serious consequences for trust in democratic institutions.

آراء المواطنين:  الفساد في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا

لقد تزايد زخم التنديد بالفساد خلال السنوات الماضية في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا. وضاق الناس ذرعا بالفساد المستشري في مختلف أنحاء المنطقة، من لبنان والسودان، حيث خرج ملايين الناس إلى الشوارع في مطلع هذا العام للتنديد بصوت عال بممارسات حكوماتهم، إلى الثورات العربية التي أطاحت بالزعماء الفاسدين منذ زهاء عشر سنوات.

الرشوة الجنسية: منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا

على الرغم من تفاوت التقدم المُحرز على مستوى حقوق المرأة في مختلف أنحاء الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا، شهدت المنطقة زخما إيجابيا تنامى تدريجيا خلال العقد الماضي. إذ أصبح عدد أكبر من النساء يُعبّرن عن أنفسهن داعيات إلى تعزيز تمثيل المرأة في الحكومة وتجريم العنف المنزلي وتحقيق المساواة في الحقوق للنساء والفتيات، إلى جانب عدد من المسائل الأخرى التي تهم المرأة. وتُناضل النساء في مختلف دول المنطقة من أجل إعلاء كلمتهن.

حرمان المواطنين من مختلف الفرص والخدمات الأساسية  بسبب استغلال آخرين لعلاقاتهم الشخصية

يُعتبر استغلال العلاقات الشخصية في البلدان العربية، أو ما يُعبّر عنه بالواسطة، مُمارسة منتشرة ومُتعارف عليها اجتماعيا. إذ يستغل مختلف الأشخاص علاقاتهم الأسرية أو الاجتماعية لعدم الوقوف في الصف وللوصول على نحو أسرع وأفضل إلى المدارس أو الجامعات أو المستشفيات أو الوظائف، و"لتعجيل" الإجراءات الإدارية في المؤسسات الحكومية مثل تجديد وثائق الهوية أو شهادات الميلاد. وتعتمد عادة سرعة حصولك على الخدمة وجودتها على الشخص الذي تعرفه؛ فبطبيعة الحال، كلما كان في منصب أعلى كان ذلك أفضل لك.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media