Is There Progress Fighting Latin American Corruption? (Economist)

The Economist has noted that two thirds of Latin American countries languish in the bottom half of Transparency International’scorruption perceptions index” with the following recent events probably leaving investors wondering if corruption in the region will ever be brought under control:

  • In Brazil, 34 sitting politicians are suspected of participating in a multi-billion dollar bribery scandal involving state-controlled oil giant Petroleo Brasileiro Petrobras SA (NYSE: PBR).
  • Allegations of graft continue to be leveled at Argentina’s president Kirchner as well as her predecessor, her late husband.
  • The disappearance of 43 students in the Mexican southern state of Guerrero and their apparent murder by drug-traffickers in league with police have sparked protests since September 2014.

However, increased public public demonstrations against Latin American corruption offer a glimmer of hope. For example: Huge anti-government demonstrations took place in dozens of cities across Brazil last weekend. The Economist also cited other reasons to be optimistic:

  • Chile will soon close loopholes in its campaign-finance legislation.
  • The Mexican Congress is pushing through anti-corruption reforms.
  • Honduras’s president, Juan Orlando Hernández, has signed an agreement with NGOs to act as “parallel auditors” in education, health and other government services.

Nevertheless, making significant progress on fighting Latin American corruption still has a long way to go as the corruption perceptions index for Latin America illustrates: - Latin American Corruption Perceptions Index 2014

To read the whole article, A less crooked continent? and Democracy to the rescue?, go to the website of the Economist. In addition. check out our Latin America ADR list, closed-end fund list and ETF list pages.

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