© Reuters. A banner shows the images of three former presidents of Mexico, as members of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) organize papers with citizens’ signatures after gathering them for a ballot measure that could put former presidents in trial
By Caroline Pulice
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – An index assessing the ability of Latin American countries to root out corruption showed most countries were slipping, according to the ranking released on Tuesday.
The 2023 Ability to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, jointly released by Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Control Risks, indicates a drop in the region’s average score for the first time since 2020.
Falling scores in 10 of the 15 countries assessed point to “an anti-corruption environment that in many countries is less active and less mobilized than in the past,” according to the index.
Looking at 14 variables, including the independence of judicial institutions and the strength of investigative journalism, the CCC Index “is backed by detailed data and an exclusive survey of leading anti-corruption experts” to rate and rank countries on a scale of 0 to 10.
A maximum score of 10 reflects a country most likely to prosecute and punish corruption. Eight of the 15 countries analyzed this year scored below five.
“The setbacks were generally not dramatic compared to 2022, instead reflecting a steady erosion that has been ongoing for years,” the report added.
The area is not. 2 economy Mexico ranked 12th, showing “pronounced degradations” in the civil society and media categories, with Mexican journalists facing the “highest rate of violence in the world against journalists outside the Ukraine,” according to the report.
Mexico and Guatemala are the only countries whose score has fallen every year since the launch of the CCC index in 2019.
Latin America’s largest economy, Brazil, ranked 8th, its score improving by 1.5% from 2022.
“Brazil’s score in the Democracy and Political Institutions category has increased, reflecting its stamina after several years of tension,” the report said, citing former President Jair Bolsonaro’s attempts to influence the investigations.
Venezuela saw the largest drop in the index, marking its fifth consecutive year with the lowest score in the region.
Uruguay ranked first again, but recorded a consecutive year of decline, a sign “that no country is immune to stagnation or regression in the fight against corruption”, according to the index.