San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica’s Corruption Fight Recognized

Costa Rica is one of the best and most improved nations in Latin America when it comes to fighting corruption, according to a recent World Bank report.

The study, “Governance Matters, 2007,” reviews the progress of 212 countries in ethics during the past decade. The report considers three priority areas in the fight against corruption and strengthening democracy, rating countries on a 1 to 100 point scale.

Costa Rica had 67 points, which puts it behind only Uruguay and Chile in Latin America.

One of the things the report found was that emerging countries are matching rich countries on key dimensions of governance.

“Over a dozen developing countries, such as Slovenia, Chile, Botswana, Estonia, Uruguay, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania and Costa Rica, score higher on key dimensions of governance than industrialized countries such as Greece or Italy,” according to a statement from the World Bank.

The six criteria considered in the study were voice and accountability of citizenry, political stability and absence of violence, government effectiveness, regulatory quality, rule of law and control of corruption. Haiti, Venezuela and Paraguay ranked at the bottom of the list for Latin American countries.

“The hopeful news is that a considerable number of countries… are showing that it is possible to make significant governance progress in a relatively short period of time. Such improvements in governance are critical for aid effectiveness and for sustained long-run growth,” said Daniel Kaufmann, co-author of the report and Director of Global Programs at the World Bank Institute.

“Bribery around the world is estimated at about U.S. $1 trillion, and the burden of corruption falls disproportionately on the bottom billion people living in extreme poverty,” he added.


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