Corruption Perception in Central America

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.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

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).

See: "Corruption as a habit"

In its annual report "Corruption Perception Index 2017", the organization Transparency International highlights that "... in recent years, Latin America and the Caribbean have made great strides in the fight against corruption. There are laws and mechanisms to curb corruption, while legal investigations are advancing and anti-corruption movements led by citizens are growing in many countries in the region. However, according to the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2017, the region still has a bad rating for corruption. How can we explain this contradiction?"

See also: "What Central America is Losing Due to Corruption"

"... In Guatemala, the lawyer's office and the International Commission against Impunity (CICIG) are investigating politicians and businessmen in cases of corruption, including the illegal financing of current President Jimmy Morales. In addition, investigations on the former president of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, have also made considerable progress."

"...Has the region stalled in the fight against corruption? Not definitively, but it is vital that a a holistic approach be promoted that addresses key structural issues, including political financing, public procurement and the strengthening of independent, strong and flexible legal institutions."



More on this topic

Corruption Perception Grows in Central America

January 2020

In 2019, the perception of corruption in public institutions increased in all countries of the region except Costa Rica, where it remained the same as in 2018.

As has been the case in recent years, Nicaragua's public sector continues to be perceived as the most corrupt in the region (transparency level 22 on a scale of 0 to 100), followed by Guatemala (26), Honduras (26), Dominican Republic (28), El Salvador (34), Panama (36), and Costa Rica (56).

In Which Countries Has Corruption Increased?

September 2019

The Dominican Republic, Panama and Honduras are the nations in the region where the majority of the population believes that corruption in government institutions has increased in the last twelve months.

The report "Barómetro Global de la Corrupción: América Latina y El Caribe 2019 - Opiniones y Experiencias de los ciudadanos en materia de corrupción" (Global Corruption Barometer: Latin America and the Caribbean 2019 - Opinions and Experiences of Citizens on Corruption), compiled by Transparency International and published on September 23, 2019, evaluated the perception of corruption in the countries of the region and some aspects of insecurity.

Corruption in Central America: Perception or Reality?

January 2019

In 2018, the perception of corruption in public institutions increased in all countries in the region, except Panama, where it remained the same as in 2017, and El Salvador, where it slightly decreased.

As in previous years, Nicaragua's public sector continues to be considered the most corrupt in the region (level of transparency 25 on a scale of 0 to 100), followed by Guatemala (27), Honduras (29), El Salvador (35), Panama (37), and Costa Rica (56).

Central America and the Perception of Corruption

January 2017

The public sector felt to be the most corrupt is still Nicaragua (transparency level 26 on a scale from 0 to 100), followed by Guatemala (28), Honduras (30), El Salvador (36), Panama (38) and Costa Rica (58).

In 2016 the perception of corruption in public institutions increased in all Central American countries except Guatemala, where it remained as in 2015 and in Costa Rica, where it fell.