Chile and Uruguay most transparent countries in South America

Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 places both nations at 20th spot among 176 countries evaluated.

Chile has the lowest levels of corruption in South America, along with Southern Cone neighbor Uruguay, according to the Corruption Perceptions Index 2012 compiled by Transparency International.

Both nations share 20th spot in the world, well above the rest of continent, with Brazil the next contender at 69, Perú behind that at 83, Colombia at 94, Argentina 102, Bolivia 105, Paraguay 150, and Venezuela 165th position.

Sharing top spot are Denmark, Finland, and New Zealand, while at the other extreme are Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia.

The Chilean arm of Transparency International, Chile Transparente, said that the country’s next challenge should be to lead the world rankings.

President of Chile Transparente, Gonzalo Delaveau, called on local authorities to prioritize initiatives to strengthen the integrity of institutions, and on citizens to denounce dishonest acts, in order to “bolster public confidence and democratic coexistence.”

“It is essential that society in its entirety is attentive and reacts immediately and with clarity when cases of corruption become known,” said Delaveau.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is the most recognized instrument to evaluate corruption on the international stage.

Based on expert opinion from local and foreign analysts, as well as from diverse sources, such as the World Economic Forum and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the index gives countries a score from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean), with the leading three nations scoring 90 points apiece.

Chile and Uruguay scored 72, just behind the United States at 73, and the United Kingdom and Japan, which were both given 74 points.

Operated since 1995 by Transparency International and incorporating 176 countries in 2012, the index measures perceived corruption levels in political authorities and public functionaries.

Changes were made to the methodology in this year’s survey, however Chile was up two positions from 2011.

To see the full report, click here.