Chile and Uruguay have been ranked the least corrupt countries in Latin America in 2009 by Transparency International, a global nongovernmental organization that releases annual ratings based on its Corruption Perception Index (CPI). The results of the Berlin-based organization’s annual survey are being reported throughout the hemisphere today. In addition to being the most transparent in Latin America, both countries rank among the 30 least corrupt countries in the world, which the report calls “a benchmark and inspiration for the Americas.”
The CPI is a survey of surveys of experts, government employees and business persons, based both in-country and abroad. Among the 31 countries from the Americas included in the 2009 results 10 countries scored above 5 (out of 10)—indicating a reasonable level of transparency—while 21 scored lower than 5, indicating a serious corruption problem. In these countries, weak institutions, poor governance practices and the excessive influence of private interests undermine efforts to promote equitable and sustainable development.
The lowest ranking countries in the hemisphere are Haiti and Venezuela, with rankings of 168 and 162 respectively, out of a global total of 180 countries. The only country in Latin America that showed a significant increase in its CPI score from 2008 to 2009 was Guatemala, which moved from a ranking of 96 to 84 out of 180.