Transparency International report released on January 2023, El Salvador received a Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score of 34; the country dropped 1 point compared to 2021.
The score of 33 is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best score possible. Due to the 1-point decrease, El Salvador’s overall rank is 116. In the 2021 Corruption Index Report, El Salvador ranked 115 with a score of 34.
According to Transparency International, the average score of all the 180 countries evaluated was 43, a trend maintained over the last decade. “55 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012.” States the report.
The global average remains unchanged for over a decade at just 43 out of 100. More than two-thirds of countries score below 50, while 26 countries have fallen to their lowest scores yet. Despite concerted efforts and hard-won gains by some, 155 countries have made no significant progress against corruption or have declined since 2012.” Transparecncy International.
Since 2014, El Salvador has consistently maintained the corruption index score in the mid-’30s. The highest score received was in 2014 and 2015 with 39, and the low of 33 in 2017 and 2022.
In Central America, El Salvador ranks 3rd behind Panama and Costa Rica. However, only Costa Rica is way ahead of El Salvador (21 points) with a score of 54; Panama, with a score of 36, is only 3 points ahead of El Salvador.
Nicaragua is at the bottom in Central America, with a Corruption Perceptions Index score of 19. Honduras is right above Nicaragua, with a score of 23.
Transparency.org states that, in many countries, corrupt officials and law enforcement accept bribes and collaborate with criminals. “In Honduras (23), Guatemala (24), and Peru (36), evidence suggests that organized criminals wield a strong influence over candidates and politicians, financing electoral campaigns or even running for public office themselves.”
The transparency organization states that some governments have taken extreme measures to tackle organized crime and gang violence, for example, the Salvadoran State of Exception.
According to them, extreme measures concentrate power in the executive branch and reduce transparency and accountability, in addition to posing serious threats to human rights and basic freedoms.
They [extreme measures] impacted people’s rights to assembly, access to information, transit, and basic procedures during an arrest. In the name of security, these governments closed down civic space, shrinking its oversight capabilities and considerably increasing democratic backsliding and risks of corruption.” Transparecncy International.