Is Corruption Endemic in Latin America?


The article deals with the causes and specifics of the corruption cases, which took place in some Latin American countries in 2013 – 2016, including very scandalous ones in the highest echelons of power. The author marks a very dangerous tendency towards the cooperation between the corrupt politicians and the powerful gangs of organized criminality in such countries as Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and some Central American states, seeing a special danger in the fact, that a further convergence between them may transform those gangs into terrorist groups. The author does not agree with those experts (L. Cockroft,

P. Hakim, etc.), who consider corruption “endemic” for Latin America, and demonstrates that it is an international phenomenon. Nevertheless, he admits a special character of corruption in Latin America: its historic, socio-economic and cultural specifics. Their recognition is essential for successful struggle against corruption. All the history and practice of this struggle, including in the Latin American countries, has proved the inadmissibility and counter-productivity of any conjectural and precipitated approaches to it. The author proves, that a converged character of the modern organized criminality and corruption demands similarly converged methods of patient and consistent struggle with them, based on the use of complex and differentiated methods. A special significance for the poliactive cultures (to which Russia also belongs), will acquire, along with the liquidation of economic disproportions and the sophistication of the methods of governance, creation of an atmosphere of the zero-tolerance towards corruption. An important place in this struggle will belong to the cultural and educational policies, to the bringing up of the new generations in the spirit of radical non-acceptance of the very “culture of corruption”.


criminalization of authorities; petty corruption; organized crime; national culture; drug cartels; struggle against corruption; Latin America.

Authors: Boris Martynov

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