Panama remains in 37th position on the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of 180 countries released by Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) which has an active local chapter
The Index 2018. reveals a disturbing link between corruption and the health of democracies: countries with higher rates of corruption also have weaker democratic institutions and political rights.
The top and bottom of the index haven’t seen much change. Somalia, Syria and South Sudan have the lowest scores. Top performers include the Nordics – Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway – plus New Zealand, Singapore and Switzerland. These countries mostly have several democratic attributes in common that help them keep corruption in their public sectors under control.
But many of the countries have also been involved in major corruption scandals
Denmark, which tops the list this year, has been rocked by the revelations of massive money-laundering at the Estonian branch of Danske Bank, the country’s biggest lender Danske, is spending hundreds of millions to fix the problem. .
Switzerland – particularly its banks and other financial intermediaries – is a regular feature in stories about stolen public money finding its way out of countries around the world.
The CPI doesn’t measure private-sector corruption like money laundering, tax fraud, foreign bribery, financial secrecy or illicit flows of money. It also doesn’t look at individual corruption cases.