Corruption: In the Land of the Blind the One-Eyed Man is King

The corruption of government officials and its negative influence on the competitiveness of economies will not stop as long as there rulers who celebrate being "a bit corrupt."

Thursday, December 5, 2013


The 2013 Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International has reconfirmed that all of the Central American countries are seriously "sick with corruption."

However, as pointed out in an article in, Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla, on her Twitter account, welcomed the news and wrote: "Costa Rica is leading indices of transparency in Latin America and improving its position in 2013." Madam President should be corrected: the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International is not an index of transparency but as its name suggests exactly the opposite.

The index calculated for Costa Rica by Transparency International index is 53, halfway up the range of between 0 - indicating a very corrupt country - and 100 - indicating total absence of corruption.

In the Central American region Guatemala has an index of 29, El Salvador 38, Honduras 26, Nicaragua 28, and Panama 35. Costa Rica does not head any transparency index, it is just the least sick with corruption in Central America.

¿Busca soluciones de inteligencia comercial para su empresa?

More on this topic

Corruption Perception in Central America

February 2018

In 2017, the perception of corruption in public institutions increased in all of the countries in the region, with the exception of Guatemala and Nicaragua, where it remained the same as in 2016, and in Costa Rica, where it decreased slightly.

The public sector still perceives Nicaragua to be the most corrupt country (transparency level 26 on a scale from 0 to 100), followed by Guatemala (28), Honduras (29), El Salvador (33), Panama (37) and Costa Rica (59).

If Everyone Else is Being Corrupt, So Will I

April 2015

An IADB study has revealed that people exposed to information about corruption are more likely to commit it themselves.


An article in analyzes the report "Corruption as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in Costa Rica", produced by researchers at the Inter-American Development Bank, which concludes that "...

Central America, Where Corruption Reigns

December 2013

The majority of Central American nations are perceived as being the most corrupt in Latin America.

The Index of Corruption Perception created by Transparency International, ranks Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua in the list of countries perceived as the most corrupt.

Honduras is ranked at number 140, while Nicaragua and Guatemala are located in positions 127 and 123, respectively.

Central American Governments: All More or Less Corrupt

October 2010

No Central American country comes to "green" in the Corruption Index 2010, representing serious problems for businesses.

Costa Rica is the best positioned country in the Central American Index 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index, reports produced by Transparency International.