Corruption is a widespread problem in Latin America, despite recent progress. Some cases can have high visibility, especially when high-level authorities are involved in multi-million dollar scandals. Other cases stay mostly out of the spotlight, as they involve low-level civil servants who, for example, take bribes to approve a permit. Although they might seem isolated and … [Read more...] about Monitoring Corruption in Mexico: The Watchful Eye and the Cracking Whip
In 2001, a coalition of academics and newspapers united in what was known as the Grupo Oaxaca to propose and advocate for a so-called Freedom of Information (FOI) law. Proponents argued that a FOI law, which would force the government to reveal virtually all but national security information, would usher in a new era of government transparency. People would be given the tools … [Read more...] about Release Information; Give Power to the People
It has been a good couple of years for those fighting corruption in the Americas. Since May of this year, the leaders of the New York State Senate and Assembly were sentenced to terms ranging from 5-12 years in prison on charges including bribery, extortion and money laundering. A federal congressman from Philadelphia was convicted on more than two dozen charges, including … [Read more...] about Latin America: Turning the Corner on Corruption?
Governments and international donors have long struggled to ensure accountability in large projects where patronage, inefficiency or outright corruption can lead to misallocation of resources and funds. One innovation has been the creation of community-monitoring initiatives that allow citizens to provide feedback on projects. Proponents believe such social audits not only … [Read more...] about Can Citizens Act Effectively as Watchdogs?