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World Corruption Index Downgrades Brazil to 70th Place

Brazil came in 70th place in the latest Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) released Monday, November 6, by the nongovernmental corruption watchdog Transparency International.

According to the CPI, Brazil, with 3.3 points, had a significant fall of 8 positions when compared to the same index released last year. Chile and Uruguay were the best Latin American ranked countries.

Brazil has been assailed by a series of scandals in Congress and the executive that include the mensalão (a bribing scheme in which House representatives received monthly allowances to vote with the government) and the dossiergate (an arrangement from people connected to ruling party PT to buy a fake dossier that would incriminate opposition candidates).

The Berlin-based Transparency International said there was a "strong correlation between corruption and poverty." Most of the world’s low-income countries – especially in Africa – fared poorly.

"Corruption traps millions in poverty," said Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle. "Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens".

The index ranks 163 countries by their perceived levels of domestic corruption in the public sector. As usual, at the top of the list are several Scandinavian countries, such as Finland, Iceland, and Denmark.

Among the major world powers, UK came in 11th, Germany 16th, Japan 17th, the United States was 20th and Spain 23rd.

In Latinamerica Chile ranked 20 and Uruguay 28 followed by Costa Rica, 55; El Salvador, 57, Colombia 59 and Cuba 66.

Further down comes in Brazil in position 70 similar to that of Mexico and Peru; Argentina, 93; Bolivia, 105; Paraguay and Nicaragua, 111 and Venezuela 138.

The top six of the list are Finland, Iceland, New Zealand, Denmark, Singapore and Sweden.

Ukraine and Georgia are 99th and Russia is in 121st place. Armenia is in 93rd place, while Azerbaijan is in 130th place. Kazakhstan is ranked 111th.

Near the very bottom of this year’s list are Iraq, in 160th place, and Uzbekistan and Belarus, tied for 151st place. Turkmenistan and Tajikistan tied for 142nd place.

Almost three-quarters of the countries in the CPI score, including all low-income countries and all but two African states, are evidence that most countries in the world face serious perceived levels of domestic corruption.

In seventy-one countries – nearly half – corruption is perceived as rampant. Haiti has the lowest score; Guinea, Iraq and Myanmar share the penultimate slot.

Countries with a significant worsening in perceived levels of corruption in this year’s report include: Brazil, Cuba, Israel, Jordan, Laos, Seychelles, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and the United States. Countries with a significant improvement in perceived levels of corruption include: Algeria, Czech Republic, India, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Mauritius, Paraguay, Slovenia, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uruguay.

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