Transparency International urged Latin American governments to focus on rooting out corruption, which the organization identified as a great barrier to fostering an equitable, democratic and sustainable society.
The region will never be able to stamp out discrimination as long as it does not tackle corruption, the Berlin-based organization said in a statment.
“Corruption and discrimination work together in a vicious cycle,” reads the note sent to Latin American governments.
“Across the region, a tiny bunch of wealthy elites capture political decision-making at the expense of the public good,” stated the anti-corruption agency.
Corruption and discrimination work together in a vicious cycle, exacerbating inequality and harming the most marginalised.
— Transparency International (@anticorruption) October 5, 2022
Accordingo to Transparency International, the COVID-19 pandemic worsened corruption in the region, leaving millions of people unable to gain access to necessities like food, water, education and quality healthcare.
In recent years, officials in some governments have even resorted to “sextortion”, forcing women to sleep with them in exchange for government services such as healthcare and education.
The report says that many corruption cases go unreported, as people fear repercussions from officials.
The agency asked governments in the region whey they haven’t complied with the anti-corruption commitments they made at the summit in Lima.
“Promises [made in Lima] have gone unfulfilled. It’s time for immediate action to stop rampant inequality and discrimination in the region,” stated the agency.