Corruption happens because people in charge become selfish and often blinded by power. Unfortunately, corruption is not something that you can only blame on “el Presidentes” or former generals turned dictators. It also happens often because a rich country was meddling in affairs of a poor one.
Take the U.S invasion of Afghanistan or Iraq. Both were done to ‘free the people from oppressive governments’. Of course, the Talibans and Saddam Hussein definitely wouldn’t be my first choices for voting if I were an Afghan or Iraqi, but the alternative didn’t turn out to be much better.
The corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their administrative and political institutions are perceived to be on a scale from 0 (highly corrupt) and a 100 (very clean). Here are the worst offenders.
10. Haiti: 81/100 Corruption Index
In 2010, a massive earthquake of 7.0 magnitude with the epicenter in Port au Prince shook Haiti. The disaster left over 300.000 Haitians dead, many more injured and without a roof over their heads. The international community quickly responded by raising $2.000.000 in funds to help the people affected by the earthquake. Unfortunately, they didn’t consider that the corrupt bureaucrats in Haiti would practically gobble up all that money in no time. Only a year after the earthquake, U.S State Department Human Rights report revealed that little has changed and that “corruption is widespread at all levels of Haitian government, even after a new president is elect in 2011”.
9. Venezuela: 81/100 Corruption Index
Here’s another example of how the discovery of natural resources can be both a blessing and a curse. With most of the world’s oil sucked from the East do you even have to wonder why this country is so interesting, being as close as it is to one of the world’s biggest powers, United States?
In 1999, Hugo Chavez came to power in Venezuela, promising to end corruption. Did he succeed? Better question you could ask is probably “did he tried?” Of course he didn’t and as a result, he and his government are doing the same things they accused the previous government: political patronage, nepotism and, you guessed it, corruption.
8. Iraq: 82/100 Corruption Index
If you even tried to speak against corruption during the Saddam Husein regime, you would likely get captured by the secret police and murdered in cold blood. Okay, so that was then, what about now? Surely the U.S invasion on Iraq and deposing Saddam freed this country from corruption? Think again. The war against Saddam may have been won, but a much more difficult one remains – that against corruption.
7. Uzbekistan: 83/100 Corruption Index
With the conflicts in Ukraine, many people ignore what is going on in other former Soviet republics. Uzbekistan is one of those countries where you could almost stab a stick in the ground and find oil or some other natural resource, but does this mean better life for its citizens? No. Instead, the Uzbekistan government presses down on the private sector in an attempt to control all these resources. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that this is one utterly authoritarian government as well, so there’s that as well.