HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Considered LatAm's Most Corrupt: Report
BRIEF

Venezuela Considered LatAm's Most Corrupt: Report

CARTEL DE LOS SOLES / 3 DEC 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Venezuela is yet again perceived as the most corrupt country in Latin America, according to a new report by Transparency International, suggesting that President Nicolas Maduro has a long way to go in terms of cleaning up his country's image. 

Venezuela ranked 161st out of 175 countries worldwide in terms of perceived corruption, earning it the dubious honor as Latin America's most corrupt, according to Transparency International's 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index. 

This is the 10th straight year that Transparency International listed Venezuela as the country considered the most corrupt in Latin America. The Index measures perceptions of corruption in the public sector.

Chile and Uruguay were ranked as Latin America's least corrupt countries, and tied for 21st worldwide. Meanwhile, Haiti is viewed as the most corrupt in the Caribbean, sharing with Venezuela the 161st spot on the index, as indicated in the map below.

The NGO also recommended four policy initiatives leaders in the Americas should adopt to reduce corruption: 1) ending impunity for corruption, 2) making political financing more transparent, 3) reducing inequality, and 4) establishing public registries of owners of companies.

 InSight Crime Analysis

The high levels of perceptions of corruption is particularly striking when compared to other countries on the Index with similar scores. This year, Venezuela's corruption is only outpaced by a handful countries, several of which are in the midst of war or armed conflict like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia.

Taking a broader historical perspective, Venezuela has consistently been considered one of Latin America's most corrupt countries since the mid-1990s, based on prior indices from Transparency International. While many governments prior to President Hugo Chavez's administration were highly corrupt, Chavez's Praetorian-style regime allowed for increased ties between security and government officials and organized crime during his tenure.

During the mid-2000s, elements of Venezuela's National Guard known as the Cartel of the Suns ("Cartel de los Soles) became increasingly involved in cocaine trafficking. Chavez, who began to rely heavily on trusted military officials to fill government posts following a brief coup d'etat in 2002, repeatedly failed to ensure transparent investigations into  the military's growing involvement in the drug trade. This enabled the continued expansion of the cartel, with reports coming in 2008 of high-level Venezuelan security officials involved in a drugs-for-weapons deal with Colombia's rebel group FARC.

 SEE ALSO: Venezuela News and Profile

The usurpation of the judicial branch by the executive also played a key role in enabling corruption to flourish while Chavez was president. One former Supreme Court judge told media officials in 2012 that the government frequently interfered in judicial processes, including instructing judges how to rule on drug trafficking cases.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

VENEZUELA / 11 APR 2011

Semi-submersible drug trafficking vessels have been produced in clandestine shipyards in the northeast Venezuelan state of Delta Amacuro,…

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2017

New US President Donald Trump has ordered the construction of a border wall to keep out what he has labelled…

CIACS / 1 JAN 2016

At the end of each year, InSight Crime gazes into the crystal ball and seeks to make predictions on where…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.

THE ORGANIZATION

Series on Environmental Crime in the Amazon Generates Headlines

17 SEP 2021

InSight Crime and the Igarapé Institute have been delighted at the response to our joint investigation into environmental crimes in the Colombian Amazon. Coverage of our chapters dedicated to illegal mining…