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Latin America: Region one of worst for corruption

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Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor

(Read caption) A street scene in the city center, in September, in Rio de Janeiro. Most of the Latin America region is one of the worst for corruption, Brazil however, offers a bright spot this year for the region.

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Latin American economies may have weathered the global recession better than most, reduced poverty, and grown the middle class, but across most of the region corruption remains as entrenched as ever.
That’s the message of Transparency International’s latest Corruption Perception Index. This year, two-thirds of the region’s 32 countries fall in the bottom half of the list, among the world’s most corrupt nations.

“What caught my attention the most was how in Latin America, the good economic news has not translated into an improved quality of life for the majority of Latin Americans,” says Alejandro Salas, Americas director with Transparency International. “Corruption is a central element that continues to affect us.”
Venezuela and Haiti ranked lowest in the region: tying for No. 165 out of 176 countries total. Chile ranked highest at No. 20, one slot below the United States (The index assigns a score to each country on a scale from 0 to 100, or from highly corrupt to very clean. Venezuela earned a score of 19, for example, versus Chile’s 72.)

Mexico – Latin America’s second-largest economy behind Brazil – tied for the No. 105 spot with a score of 34, along with Bolivia, Algeria, Gambia, the Philippines, Mali, Kosovo, and Armenia.


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