Question: In the past three year, how has corruption in the country changed?
Here’s a screen shot of the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) results, illustrating the distribution of scores that each country received last year. Lets note those Latin American ranges, from orange, blood orange to red.
Here are the scores of some countries:
United Kingdom: 20
United States: 22
Costa Rica: 41
The newly created Venezuelan Anti-Corruption Legal Assistance Office, is the first space in which civil society can provide both citizens and government entities with tools to fight corruption.
“Amongst countries of the Americas, Venezuela occupies the lowest position in the Corruption Perceptions Index with 2.0 out of 10; in the Latin American Index of Budgetary Transparency it also comes in last place with 33 out of 100, and within the Rule of Law Index study generated by The World Justice project it again falls in one of the lowest positions in the Americas Region, and this is repeated in a number of other studies which demonstrates just how urgently action needs to be taken.”
What can the Venezuelan Legal Assistance Office do?
What can’t the Office do?
Take over the role of the state in its function to investigate and prosecute.
To learn more about Transparencia Venezuela and its new Legal Assistance Office, check out: http://blog.transparency.org/2011/07/20/venezuela-at-last-a-solution-to-corruption/
In March of this year the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) began hearings to investigate the political disqualification of many opposition leaders looking to participate in Venezuelan elections. Among those testifying was Leopoldo Lopez, one of Venezuela’s most prominent opposition leaders who was recently banned due to corruption charges. In a court hearing, Lopez spoke out against political disqualification stating that bans threaten the future of democracy in the Venezuela.
The IACHR responded accordingly. In early September the court ruled to put an end to all political disqualifications. Lopez, in a press conference following the ruling stated, “This is a ruling with a hemispheric impact, with an influence in similar cases in Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Costa Rica (…) But above all, this a strong binding decision for the Venezuelan State under the agreements signed and endorsed in our Constitution pursuant to Articles 23 and 31 (…) This is a decision that democrats will respect and comply with determination and courage, in order to preserve the rights millions of Venezuelans have to choose freely.”
The Venezuela electoral authority (CNE) recently settled on the date for elections, October 7th 2012 (2 month earlier than normal) leaving opposition leaders less time to campaign.
This incident that occurred in 1960 demonstrates an interesting view of corruption in Venezuelan history. These articles describe Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo’s attempt to assassinate Venezuela’s first democratically elected president, Rómulo Betancourt. Trujillo was an authoritarian, right-wing ruler (with a fondness for fascism) who was suspicious of everyone an anyone that did not pledge support for him. Betancourt, a very leftist politician who belonged to communist parties in his youth, spoke out openly against Trujillo, making clear that he stood firmly against such an oppressive form of government. Trujillo decided that he had to take out his enemy, so he flew members of his intelligence to the streets of Caracas to plant a bomb in a car that was to explode as the president’s vehicle passed by. The plan worked perfectly, except for the fact that the attackers didn’t put enough dynamite to actually kill Betancourt. He came out of the bombing alive and well, although he did suffer severe burns, particularly on his hands.
This was ironic to the millions of Venezuelan viewers who saw their president describing the attack with his hands heavily bandaged in white gauze; just a few days earlier, in a television interview, Betancourt angrily denied any claims to corruption, affirming that should he ever illegally take any public funds, his hands should burn in punishment.
“Si he robado algún dinero del erario nacional, entonces que se me quemen las manos.”