Transparency International analyzed and produced a report on how well the Heads of the State of the Americas have implemented the anti-corruption and transparency commitments they had agreed to at past Summits of the Americas. The goal of this program was to increase commitment to anti-corruption and transparency programs.
Transparency International (TI) defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gain. Corruption damages the legitimacy and effectiveness of democratic institutions and undermines the rule of law. Combating corruption is a relatively new topic in the global agenda because, in the past, it was regarded as a taboo. In the Latin American and Caribbean context, attention to corruption and its effects has increased thanks to the democratization and economic reform processes in the region and the dissemination in the media of national and international corruption scandals.
TI conducted national surveys where National Chapters exist in the Americas and produced a report that showed the level of implementation of the Anti-corruption and transparency commitments that the Heads of State of the Americas have agreed to in past Summits of the Americas. The project “Corruption Report of the Americas” aimed at assessing the implementation of the Summits of the Americas commitments relating to transparency and anti-corruption and stressing the need for real follow-up and implementation of the Summits’ mandates.
More broadly, the project aimed at raising awareness among civil society, the public sector and Summits’ organizers of the state of corruption in the American hemisphere and by doing so, engaging them further in the fight against corruption.
With dissemination of the report, the project serves the purpose of better informing public officials, civil society and other actors of some of the corruption problems in the hemisphere and the importance of monitoring the compliance by governments of the Summits mandates and other state level declarations on anti-corruption issues. The report received great attention when presented and was welcomed as a constructive step to press governments for better accountability and the fulfillment of their commitments.