Corruption and its impact in Latin America

Corruption is at the core of many of the world's economic and business challenges. Corruption indices are strongly and inversely related to GDP (see Figure 1), the level of competitiveness of the country, human development and social progress.

Estimates show that the cost of corruption is equivalent to more than 5% of world GDP, equivalent to $ 278 million in Latin America. Furthermore, corruption reduces efficiency, particularly in the services provided by public institutions; causes biases in public investment; increases transaction costs and discourages private investment.

Latin America suffers from high levels of corruption and is currently facing one of its worst transparency crises. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) found that the Americas continue to fail to manage serious advances against corruption. The number of underperforming countries in the region is related to challenges facing democratic systems and declining political rights across North, South, and Central America, by corrupt leaders who have weakened democratic systems .

Regional Ethics and Transparency Initiative (RETAIN)

La Regional Ethics and Transparency Initiative (RETAIN) proposes a robust strategy to address various problems that will have a profound impact changing the way societies perceive corruption and the responsibility of each one -as an individual or organization- so that these individuals and organizations from the public and private sector can act ethically and reduce opportunities to engage in corrupt activities.

Speech by the Rector, Enrique Bolaños, on Corruption
Graduation Ceremony, July 2020

Objectives

1 | AWARENESS

Make the conversation about corruption, ethics and transparency dominant.

Produce and provide relevant and up-to-date information on corruption, ethics and transparency, and foster a dialogue within and between various sectors of society to start a conversation about the cost of corruption and the role that each person plays in the fight to combat it.

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2 | TRAINING

Strengthen the capacities of key collaborators who can significantly influence individuals' attitudes towards corruption and contribute to the formulation of relevant institutional reforms and actions in each country.

Ensure that relevant training programs and tools are available to key groups so that they can support strategic changes in their countries.

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3 | INVESTIGATION

Provide empirical evidence and recommendations for public institutions to adopt best practices in management and transparency

Use qualitative and quantitative data to highlight the importance of ensuring transparency of public institutions on public spending and promoting dialogue on new practices, policies and regulations.
 

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