Corruption in Colombia decreased between 2007 and 2008, according to a report by NGO Transparency International.
Among the 180 countries surveyed in the “Global Corruption Report 2009: Corruption and the private sector”, seven are located in Latin America and the Caribbean, of which Venezuela and Paraguay recorded the worst levels of corruption in private sector practices in Latin America. Venezuela was ranked lowest (158), followed by Paraguay (138), Nicaragua (134) and Argentina (109).
Colombia was ranked 70th, and Chile, at number 23, was the least corrupt country in South America.
The report examines issues related to bribery, influence peddling, the use of privileged information or analysis of corporate integrity, and concludes that combating corruption is viable and profitable, reports Colombian news site Portafolio.
The report found that according to a recent survey on the implementation of bribery-prevention practices in Colombian businesses, 91 per cent of company managers or legal representatives said they believe that there are Colombian entrepreneurs who offer bribes in the course of their business.
“The findings suggest that entrenched perceptions of public and private corruption in Colombia discourage companies from establishing measures to prevent bribery. Seventy-two per cent of those polled agreed that anti-bribery principles
would be useful, yet most do not implement them because they are put off by suspicions of corruption in the public sector (47 per cent) or perceived corruption on the part of competitors (42 per cent). For some, it seems as though bribes make good business sense, with 54 per cent viewing bribery as a strategy to trump the competition.”
The report found that, because it is large businesses that display the greatest progress in establishing measures to counter bribery, Colombia’s biggest enterprises are key in making their anti-bribery expectations known to smaller suppliers.
Transparency International’s report concluded that, though many Colombian businesses believe that anti-corruption initiatives threaten profits, “the collective reluctance to implement public and private anti-corruption measures is hurting business. In its 2007–2008 Global Competitiveness Report, the World Economic Forum found corruption to be the second most significant factor, after taxes, hampering business in Colombia.”