El Salvador’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index. El Salvador Drops 2 points

By Eddie Galdamez  |  Jan 26th, 2022
El Salvador Corruption Perceptions Index width=
El Salvador’s Corruption Perceptions Index.

On the Transparency International report released on January 25th, 2022, El Salvador received a Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) score of 34; the country dropped 2 points compared to 2020.

The score of 34 is on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 being the best score possible. Due to the 2-point decrease, El Salvador dropped 11 places in the overall rankings, to 115. In the 2020 Corruption Index Report, El Salvador ranked 104 with a score of 36.

According to Transparency International, the average score of all the 180 countries evaluated was 43, a trend that has been maintained over the last decade. “131 countries have not made significant progress against corruption in that period.” States the report.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) is the most widely-used global corruption ranking in the world. It measures how corrupt each country’s public sector is perceived to be, according to experts and businesspeople.”

El Salvador’s Historical CPI Score
2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021
39 39 36 33 35 34 36 34
Rank 80 72 95 112 105 113 104 115

Since 1014, 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.

Central America’s Corruption Perceptions Index
# Country 2021
1 Costa Rica 39 58 57
2 Panama 105 36 35
3 El Salvador 115 34 36
4 Guatemala 150 25 25
5 Honduras 157 23 24
5 Nicaragua 164 20 22

In Central America, El Salvador ranks 3rd behind Panama and Costa Rica. However, only Costa Rica is way ahead of El Salvador (24 points) with a score of 58; Panama, with a score of 36, is only 2 points ahead of El Salvador.

Nicaragua is at the bottom in Central America, with a Corruption Perceptions Index score of 20. Honduras is right above Nicaragua with a score of 23.

El Salvador, a “country to watch,” says Transparency International.

Even though El Salvador’s CPI index score dropped by only 2 points and is at the same 2019 levels when Bukele became president, Transparency International wrote that El Salvador is a country to watch.

According to Transparency International, “the country has increasingly restricted access to information and shown a severe lack of transparency in the spending of public funds.”

In 2022, El Salvador (34) could establish itself as a dictatorship if authorities there continue to undermine democracy, harass critics and restrict civil and political rights.”

It mentions that there are allegations that senior government officials have engaged in corruption schemes related to COVID-19 funds, as reported by El Faro and other local newspapers.

The report also mentions concerns over steps taken by the government to weaken the independence of justice institutions and close down civic space.

It refers to the May 1st, 20221 day when the New Ideas controlled Legislative Assembly removal of the attorney general and all five magistrates of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Judicial Court. The report states that corruption is undermining democracy and human rights.

In countries like Brazil (38), Venezuela (14), El Salvador (34), and Guatemala (25), governments used intimidation, defamation, fake news, and direct attacks against civil society organizations, journalists, and activists.”

In Latin America, Uruguay is best with a 73 CPI score, followed by Chile with 67. At the bottom of Latin America is Venezuela with 14 and Nicaragua with a 20 CPI score.