The main problem facing Colombian citizens today is not security or economic stability but in fact corruption, according to the results of a bimonthly poll released on Wednesday.
30% of those who responded to pollster Gallup cited corruption as the biggest drawback facing the South American country today.
By comparison 24% of those surveyed said economic stability and power was the main issue, and 18% claimed public security was most important.
Recent corruption scandals have rocked the country, in particular the allegations against Brazilian construction company Odebrecht for their role in the 2014 presidential campaign.
In August 2016 Colombians began to see corruption as more serious issue, but following the recent Odebrecht bribery scandal, it has become the main concern of citizens, according to Martin Orozco, manager of Invamer Gallup who spoke to El Tiempo newspaper.
“The repercussion of these scandals is so strong that it gives institutions a less favorable public image, and also affects the image and popularity of the characters that are being investigated, because to a large extent people associate corruption with politics,” Orozco said to El Tiempo.
The scandal surrounding the $11 billion given in bribes has already led to the arrest of the former vice-minister of transport and investigations are ongoing into allegations that President Juan Manuel Santos‘s 2014 re-election campaign may have received $1 million from the Brazilian firm.
The recent corruption scandals have strongly affected the popularity of politicians with many of the public gradually losing faith in the public administration.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’s approval ratings have plummeted. In December 2016 35% of Colombians were happy with the work of the President, however two months later in February 2017 this number has dropped to 24%.
Furthermore the poll shows that 79% of people disapprove of the actions of congress, the highest disapproval rating since the turn of the century.