Corruption is one of the biggest challenges facing Argentina and other Latin American countries. It’s tougher than military regimes that once ruled these parts and committed outlandish crimes against their countrymen.
The Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index is an excellent source to measure corruption. Finland, Iceland and New Zealand are the least corrupt with Haiti being at the bottom of the 2006 list.
Of the Latin American countries, Chile (20th) is at the top followed by Uruguay (28th) and El Salvador (57th). Argentina placed 93rd on the list of 163 coutnries.
It’s pretty incredible to note that after military regimes in Latin America relinquished power to the civilians from the 1980s, there’s one foe that continues to wreak havoc: corruption. It operates more efficiently than any ruthless dictatorship.
In Argentina, most people would agree with you that corruption is one of the main culprits that has kept it from becoming a developed country with strong economic and political institutions.
“Why don’t you denounce the corrupt politician, mayor or policeman?” I asked recently at a party.
“Because we’d end up being harassed by the authorities,” the person said.
If you think of it, the culture of fear that forces you into inaction is the same but different type of terror that military regimes used to rule the country.
Corruption, however, is like an ogre that has fine manners on the surface and walks around in a suit and knows your price.It does not need to shoot you in the head or torture you to get information.