Venezuela Most Corrupt, Chile Better than U.S.

Venezuela is perceived as the most corrupt country in the Americas according to Transparency International. which released its 2010 global Corruption Perception Index. The country ranked 164th out of 178 countries in transparency, below countries like Russia, Haiti, Iran, and Yemen.

Every year  Transparency International rates countries on a scale from 1 to ten from 1 representing the most corrupt and ten being the least corrupt and the best possible score. Venezuela scored 2.

The report says it draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. Perceptions are used because corruption, is to a great extent, a hidden activity that is difficult to measure.

Chile scored the highest of Latin American countries with 7.2 points out of 10, ranking 21st of the 178 countries with the least corruption.

In fact, Chile ranked one ahead of the United States which dropped out of the top 20 for the first time in history.

The other Latin American countries with the most corruption following Venezuela are Nicaragua and El Salvador, which are both ranked 127th with 2.5 points; Honduras, ranked 134th with with 2.4 points; and Paraguay with 2.2 points was ranked 146th.

Cuba, which surprisingly is historically ranked as one of the least corrupt countries in Latin America, actually saw an increase in corruption, dropping from 62nd to 69th.

Also moving down the list: Colombia (78), Perú (78), Guatemala (91) and México (91). While, El Salvador (73), Panamá (73) and Bolivia (110) improved modestly. Brazil (69), Dominican Republic (101), and Argentina(105) stayed at the same rankings as the year before.

Other countries with favorable scores following Chile, were Uruguay which ranked 24th with 6.4 points, Puerto Rico ranked 33rd with 5.8 points, and Costa Rica ranked 41st with 5.3 points.

The countries with the worst corruption in the world were Iraq (1.5), Afghanistan (1.4) Birmania (1.4), and Somalia (1.1) ranked at the bottom of the list. While, Denmark(9.3), New Zeland (9.3) and Singapore (9.3) topped the list as countries viewed with the least amounts of corruption.