(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.
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.”