Posted by: Paula Delgado-Kling | July 25, 2013

Transparency International: Colombia among countries with highest rate of corruption.

Colombia is among the countries with the highest rate of corruption in the world, according to a Transparency International (TI) report. Colombia received the worse score in ten years, going from 57 in 2002 to 94 in 2012.

In short, the report stated, “Colombia still faces several structural corruption challenges: the collusion of the public and private sectors, clientelism and policy capture by organized crime, lack of state control and weak service delivery in remote areas of the country, and the inefficiency of the criminal justice system. Moreover, although the swift development of extractive industries in the country has boosted the economy, the lack of adequate regulation and accountability mechanisms is a cause for concern. Particularly as the first symptoms of the ‘resource curse’ effect might have started to show. Whether the country continues improving its governance performance will depend on its capacity to enforce its robust legal framework and implement its strategic commitments against corruption.”

According to the Global Corruption Barometer 2013, Colombia was placed 5th among the seven countries whose citizens realize that Congress is one of the most corrupt public bodies, with one of its challenges being its infiltration by narco-parmilitaries. In 2010, up to a third of local government and a third of parliamentarians were part of this “para-institutionalism,” according to Institute of Studies for Development and Peace, INDEPAZ.

Seventy-nine percent of those polled consider that the legislative branch is corrupt and 71 percent have the same opinion about the bureaucracy.

Sixty-four percent think corruption is also evident in the judiciary, from judges to other court officials.

About 19 percent of respondents even admitted that they or someone in their immediate family had bribed a justice official in the last 12 months.

The report added that “several high ranking officials, including two of the last four Presidents and 25 percent of the Congress, have been recently investigated for political misconduct and abuse of power. Despite some prosecutions, however, over 25% of public administration officials reported that government officials and parliamentarians still exercise irregular influence in the activities of the civil service.”

Sixty-one percent of respondents feel that the police have a high rate of corruption.

Thirty percent of respondents said the government is doing very little to address corruption.

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