El desafío de la corrupción en América Latina

Es difícil distinguir las consecuencias de las causas de la corrupción que afecta de manera persistente a muchas naciones de América Latina y el Caribe. La corrupción limita el crecimiento, pero el mismo bajo crecimiento la estimula, haciendo difícil mejorar la eficacia del gobierno. En todo caso, la corrupción por si sola no es el problema esencial. Más bien simboliza y resalta debilidades subyacentes del funcionamiento del estado y su interacción con los ciudadanos y las empresas.

Algunas instituciones son tan vitales que producen un estado competente y justo si funcionan bien, o un estado corrupto, ineficaz e injusto si funcionan mal. El saneamiento de dos de estas instituciones –el sector público y el poder judicial- debe ser una prioridad para varios gobiernos de la región.

Los estudios realizados en El Salvador, Nicaragua, Bolivia y Paraguay en la última década han mostrado que la gente expuesta a la corrupción tiene menos confianza en el sistema político y se fía menos de sus conciudadanos. Se preguntó a los nicaragüenses si el pago de sobornos “facilita que las cosas se hagan en la burocracia". Quienes estaban de acuerdo con que la corrupción funcionaba sentían menor respeto hacia la legitimidad del sistema político.

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