According to the ‘Perception of Corruption Index’ (IPC) put together by Transparency International (TI) this year, Argentina has successfully crawled its way down to the 95th spot on the global ranking. This is down from the 107th position it had in 2015, out of a list of 176 countries reporting on corruption.
First launched in 1995, the index serves to ‘put the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda.’ Argentina’s latest score places it closer to countries like Indonesia (90) and Sri Lanka (95), leaving behind countries such as Egypt, Ethiopia and Guyana in its place (all 108).
Argentina’s improvement by 12 positions makes it the 5th most improved country since 2015 (the largest improvement being 28 spots by Belarus). “Argentina’s score, which has left behind a populist government, is starting to show improvements.’ states TI in reference to the departure of Cristina Kirchner in favor of Macri.
That being said, 95th on a global scale and 8th in Latin America still isn’t a position to brag about – with neighbors like Uruguay at the impressive and enviable 21st place and Chile at the 24th in comparison.
So what exactly gets you a good score?
Getting a positive rating requires countries to have high degrees of press freedom, access to information about public spending, strong standards for integrity held by public officials and independent judicial systems.
The NGO outlines the importance of forming an Index like this due to the fact that corruption cases on a ‘grand scale’ such as with ‘Petrobras and Odebrecht in Brazil’ show how collusions between companies siphon off funds in order ‘to benefit the very few, at the cost of the majority’ which ultimately results in ‘violations of human rights, impedes sustainable development and encourages social exclusion.’
The most significant obstacles that TI President José Ugaz identifies for the countries worst off in the ranking are “populist and autocratic leaders”:
“We often see democracies going backwards and an alarming pattern of actions aimed at repressing civil society, limiting freedom of the press and weakening the independence of the judiciary. Instead of fighting ‘clientelistic capitalism’, these leaders usually install corrupt systems even worse”.
Those up there with the best scores are Denmark (1), New Zealand (1) and Finland (3) and those at the bottom are North Korea (174), South Sudan (175) and Somalia (176 – for the 10th year in a row).