Nicaragua gets bad marks in corruption index

(posted Dec. 5, 2:30 p.m.)- Nicaragua ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in Latin America and the world, according to the 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index released today by German-based organization Transparency International.

In the Americas, Nicaragua ranks 27 out of 32 countries, with Canada ranked No. 1 and Venezuela and Haiti tied for last place as the most corrupt. Worldwide, Nicaragua ranked 130th in the world, keeping the disreputable company of Uganda and Ivory Coast, which share Nicaragua’s shoddy score of 29 points out of 100.

Bringing up the Rear: Nicaragua ranks 130 on this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index

Topping this year’s Corruption Perceptions Index are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand, all of which tied for “cleanest country” with scores of 90. Bringing up the rear were Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan, which tied for 174th place in the world with scores of 8.

In Central America, Nicaragua finished penultimate in the ranking, edging out Honduras by one point. Honduras was last in the region, tied for 133 with a group of other troubled countries that includes Iran and Russia.

Rounding out Central America is Costa Rica (ranked 48th worldwide), El Salvador and Panama (tied at 83rd), and Guatemala (113th). The United States ranked 19th in the world and Chile tops Latin America at 20.

Globally, two-thirds of the world’s countries have scores of less than 50 out of a 100, according to the annual index, which is an aggregate indicator the pulls data from independent institutions that capture perceptions of corruption within the public sector. In the case of Nicaragua, seven different studies were used to determine the country’s score and global ranking.

“While no country has a perfect score, two-thirds of countries score below 50, indicating a serious corruption problem,” Transparency International reported. “Corruption translates into human suffering… Corruption amounts to a dirty tax, and the poor and most vulnerable are its primary victims.”

  • Mozzer

    As a Canadian business owner who deals with municipal officials on a daily basis……corruption is endemic to the human species……the difference is that in Canada the corruption is extremely well hidden behind closed doors, where 29% of the working population is employed by a government entity. It is the same everywhere in the world, only the level of “perceived” transparency is different between nations.

  • Nicagringo

    it is the corruption “perception” index…not the corruption reality index. The perception will change as more people find out the reality

  • Fred

    Unfortunately those benefiting the most from Corruption are those controlling the enforcement and judicial punishment for engaging in those practices. The sense of entitlement these people exhibit is matched by the acceptance by the citizens of Nicaragua that this is normal and just the way things are done. Is it any wonder the local traffic cop isn’t going to see him taking a few dollars to look the other way is also OK?

    Corruption is a top down process and only way to correct it is ‘from the top down’.

  • Daddy-yo

    Yes. And how does one arrive at the top?

    ‘Corruption’, like ‘beauty’ & ‘pornography’, depends on who’s the judge. Here, the Germans? My mind is not prepared to goose-step in unison to their decisions. There is something about humanity that resists homogenization & sterilization. Thank God.

  • Jeff

    Yes, there is corruption in every country and every industry, but if anyone thinks there is no difference in the level and impact of corruption in the bottom third countries and the top third, they have never tried to do business in these countries. Doing business, dealing with the government, stopping employee theft, and such is of minimal concern in the countries with a low risk of corruption, while doing business in countries like Nicaragua is extremely difficult. It has been my experience that about 1/3 of my direct costs in Nicaragua go to under the table payoffs, forced contributions, and such. In the countries that have low levels of corruption the amount of such costs is negligible. These are hidden costs of doing business here and result in holding back progress in all areas of Nicaraguan society.

  • Karla Corea

    Our business policy is not to pay “propinas” to government officials. We find that we receive the same service and, during the few times when it appears that paperwork is being held up by someone waiting for a gift, we simply go to a supervisor or complain of the untimeliness in writing.

    Many times attorneys say that things will be more prompt if a propina is given to a friend they know. It may or may not be true, but the majority of the propina goes in the attorney’s pocket. We never pay the attorneys in full in advance and we tell the attorney we can wait for the paperwork as long as necessary and he will have to wait as well for his final payment. Magically, the papers are always done promptly.

    When an attorney tells you that you need to bribe to get a license, permit, etc., and insists that it’s the only way, find a different attorney. Our US based investors have learned first hand to simply go to the agency you need a permit from and find out how to do it.