The most corrupt countries (Via Forbes)

Upset with the failings of the U.S. government these days? Take a breath. At least we’re not Somalia. That beleaguered, warn-torn disaster of a nation tops Transparency International‘s latest list of the world’s most corrupt countries. The former Italian colony of 9.8 million people on the Indian Ocean, long racked by civil war, has become a capital for piracy and terrorism with little capacity for any government at all, let alone an honest one. It ranks 1.1 on Transparency’s 10-point scale.

And it’s hardly alone. Following closely behind are Myanmar and Afghanistan, each ranking 1.4 and each tremendously corrupt in its own way. Myanmar, formerly Burma, is run by a junta of generals who have plundered the nation’s timber, minerals and natural gas and led the U.S. Treasury to slap sanctions against more than 100 of its leaders including the wife and son of No. 3 official General Thurs Shew Mann.

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Afghanistan, meanwhile, is a nominal U.S. ally burdened with the corrupt government of Hamid Karzai, who’s admitted to taking “bags of money” from U.S. enemy Iran in addition to the huge sums of U.S. aid and persuasion money floating around the war-ravaged nation. It doesn’t help that Karzai’s brother is widely reputed to be involved in the opium trade.

Another war-torn nation, Iraq, came in fourth on the corruption index. Squabbling between the Shiite majority and Sunni minority, still unused to being out of power, has delayed the formation of a government but corruption among the country’s administrators and judiciary is rampant.

After Iraq come the usual suspects: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Chad. Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are former Soviet republics burdened with corrupt governments that look a lot like what they suffered under when the Russians were in charge. In Uzbekistan, according to the U.S. State Dept., the “law does not forbid government officials from acting as ‘consultants,’ a common method of extracting payment.”

In Chad, the scene of vicious infighting over the spoils of a massive oil development project and pipeline, government officials have mastered a one-two approach to corruption, the State Dept. says: “In some cases, tax and customs authorities may facilitate evasion only to return later to pursue the infractions they facilitated.”

The central African nation of Burundi is a new arrival to the bottom 10. Largely dependent on coffee exports, the country has had a democratic government since the end of civil war in 2006 but remains challenged in the area of ethics. “Officially, Burundi has a number of laws and regulations prohibiting corrupt practices such as bribery, nepotism, preferential hiring and promotion and embezzlement,” the State Dept. says. “In practice, these measures are rarely enforced.”

Also new to the list of the 10 most corrupt is Equatorial Guinea, which has vaulted from desperate poverty to incredible wealth–for the leaders, anyway–since the discovery of huge offshore oil deposits in the early 1990s. Riding the wave of wealth has been President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, who’s dominated the government of this West African nation since he led a coup d’etat in 1979.

Once again Northern European countries rule the other end of the Transparency International list, with Denmark, Finland and Sweden all in among the five least corrupt nations with nearly pristine scores of 9.2 or more. The U.S. came in at 22, sandwiched between Belgium and Uruguay. Not great, but …

Source: Forbes

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Sobre Albert Takahashi
Brazilian-Japanese, gratuated in advertising, home-broker, traveler, experiencialist, blogger, tweeter guy, youtuber, digital influencer, living/studying French in Montréal currently, analysing the human behaviour and its interaction with the social media.

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