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What Is The Most Corrupt Country In Latin America?


In 2020 countries throughout Latin America are confronting social unrest stemming from popular frustration with persistent inequality and widespread corruption. Investors looking at doing due diligence related to potential projects in Latin America or ahead of a market-entry endeavor in a new country need to consider corruption risk as part of their overall political risk assessment. In January, 2020 Transparency International published their latest corruption index, which measures the perception of corruption in different countries around the globe. While Uruguay and Chile stand out as the region’s least corrupt countries (they are roughly on par with the U.S. and France) most of the region performs quite poorly. Many countries in the region are working to increase transparency, implement new money laundering controls, and equip their police and court systems with the tools necessary to investigate and prosecute political corruption. One country stands out as particularly poor performer.

1: Venezuela: Venezuela is by far the most problematic country in Latin America. Tied for 173rd overall, Venezuela is ranked on par with Sudan and Afghanistan. Venezuela is the most corrupt country in Latin America. Around the world only South Sudan, Yemen, Syria, and Somalia rank worse.

While Venezuela stands out as the most corrupt country in Latin America a few other poor performers aren't far behind.

2: Haiti: Ranked at 168th overall, Haiti is the second most corrupt country in Latin America and is the most corrupt country in the Carribbean.

3: Nicaragua: Nicaragua is the third most corrupt country in Latin America and the most corrupt country in Central America.

4: Guatemala and Honduras (tie): Ranked at 146th overall (tie) Guatemala and Honduras share the rank of the fourth most corrupt country in Latin America.

5: Paraguay and the Dominican Republic (tie): Paraguay and the Dominican Republic are tied for the fifth most corrupt country in Latin America.

(This post is based on an article originally published on the Latin American Lens blog on Forbes.)