HomeNewsBriefVenezuela Considered LatAm's Most Corrupt: Report
BRIEF

Venezuela Considered LatAm's Most Corrupt: Report

CARTEL OF THE SUNS / 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

EL KOKI / 22 FEB 2021

Recent shootouts between security forces and Venezuela's El Coqui gang included a clash in which at least two dozen people…

ELITES AND CRIME / 4 OCT 2022

A high-profile prisoner swap raises hopes of improving US-Venezuela relations and abilities to tackle organized crime.

GENDER AND CRIME / 11 FEB 2021

Ongoing interceptions targeting sex trafficking rings operating between Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago have revealed the extent to which Venezuelan…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Join Us This #GivingTuesday in Exposing Organized Crime

24 NOV 2022

For over twelve years, InSight Crime has contributed to the global dialogue on organized crime and corruption. Our work has provided policymakers, analysts, academics, journalists, and the general public with…

THE ORGANIZATION

Like Crime, Our Coverage Knows No Borders

18 NOV 2022

The nature of global organized crime means that while InSight Crime focuses on Latin America, we also follow criminal dynamics worldwide. InSight Crime investigator Alessandro Ford covers the connections between Latin American and European…

THE ORGANIZATION

Using Data to Expose Crime

11 NOV 2022

Co-director Jeremy McDermott made a virtual presentation at a conference hosted by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The ‘Sixth International Conference on Governance, Crime, and Justice…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime ON AIR

4 NOV 2022

InSight Crime Co-director Steven Dudley was interviewed for the podcast The Rosenberg Case: A Tale of Murder, Corruption, and Conspiracy in Guatemala, which explores the potential involvement of then president, Álvaro Colom,…

WORK WITH US

Work With Us: Research Internship and Editorial Internship

31 OCT 2022

InSight Crime, a think tank dedicated to the study of organized crime and citizen security in the Americas, is seeking interns and investigators to join its dynamic, multinational team.