Venezuela, Most Corrupt Country in Americas, Panama Improving: TI

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By Marco Echevarria

Transparency International (TI) presented the annual report on the perception of corruption in the world.

Venezuela represents an “example of great corruption,” Transparency International (TI) said Tuesday, in whose annual report on 2023 this country appears, for the tenth consecutive year, as the most corrupt in the Americas. Panama, for its part, improved after winning score of 35/100 and going down in the world ranking (108).

According to the Corruption Perception Index (IPC) in the public sector, with a scale from zero (very corrupt) to 100 (very low corruption), Venezuela obtained 13 points – five less than in 2018 – with which it ranks the lowest on the list of American countries.

Venezuela and Haiti were perceived as the most corrupt nations in the Americas in 2014 and 2015, and since 2016 the oil country has surpassed the island.

IT noted that in Venezuela “billions of dollars of public money have been systematically misappropriated, benefiting a few powerful individuals and exacerbating poverty and inequality.”

The organization also indicated that, in the country, the “great schemes of corruption go hand in hand with the capture of the legislative, regulatory and judicial systems by high-level officials to generate power and evade punishment.”

In this South American nation, the writing continues, the “paying of bribes and the co-option of judges and prosecutors at all levels of the justice system has become one of the main mechanisms used by criminal networks to ensure the continuity of their illegal activities, as well as their impunity.”

“Some Venezuelan judges and prosecutors, in addition to being part of these networks, are also being investigated by the International Criminal Court for their intervention, actions or omission in abuses, torture and other crimes against humanity,” TI said.

Last year, in the world, Venezuela and Syria – also with 13 points – occupied, after Somalia (11), the “lower positions in the index,” which ranks 180 nations and territories.

According to the ‘Corruptometer’ of the NGO Transparency Venezuela, drawn up on the basis of causes and investigations by official agencies inside and outside the country, corruption has committed at least $64,601 million.

In March last year, the authorities launched an anti-corruption operation that abruptly stopped two months later without explanation from the Prosecutor’s Office and the Government, which remained silent on key aspects of the process, experts told EFE.

Former Oil Minister Tareck El Aissami, who resigned from his position to assist with the investigations, was the fattest fish that fell in this operation, but since then his whereabouts and the extent of his responsibility in the events are not known.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in Panamerica