CI Shorts: Charting Corruption in the Caribbean
Transparency International (TI) has published its latest report on first-hand experiences of bribery in public services in Latin American and the Caribbean. The report, which is part of TI’s Global Corruption Barometer series, is based on sample surveys in most countries conducted in 2016.
The Dominican Republic, whose results are based on the total population, notched up the highest bribery rates in the Caribbean. Other countries where a smaller survey took place, included Jamaica (21%) and Trinidad & Tobago (6%).
- In response to the question ‘How often, if ever, did you have to pay a bribe, give a gift or provide a favour for a person in public office’, 46% of the Dominican Republic’s population said “yes”. They came in second in the Latin American and Caribbean region, behind Mexico (51%).
- From the Jamaican sample survey, 21% of Jamaicans said they had paid a bribe in the past year.
- From the Trinidad & Tobago sample survey, 6% said they had paid a bribe. TI said that this was ‘the lowest bribery rate of the countries surveyed’.
- Trinidad’s neighbour, Venezuela, came up with a sample survey of 38% of people saying they had paid a bribe.
- The Chair of Transparency International, José Ugaz, said: “The people of Latin America and the Caribbean are being let down by their governments and the private sector. Bribery represents a significant barrier to accessing key public services, particularly for the most vulnerable in society.”
- The report concluded: ‘Based on the responses of their citizens, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela faired the worst, as all received negative ratings across four of the five indicators. In these countries, bribery rates were high, the police were perceived to be highly corrupt and citizens were negative about both government efforts to address corruption and the change in the level of corruption over the previous 12 months. This suggests real and urgent corruption risks in these countries, which will require joined up action by all levels of government and civil society.’
- The report recommended that countries take measures to reduce bribery in public services, enable civil society to engage in the fight against corruption, strengthen law enforcement and justice institutions, clean up the police and protect whistleblowers.
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