What does Nicaragua have in common with Pakistan, Russia, Madagascar, Mali, Lebanon and Azerbaijan?
Give up? They’re all tied for 127th place in Transparency International’s 2013 Corruption Perception Index, which uses a combination of surveys to measure perceptions of public sector corruption in 177 countries.
Nicaragua this year dropped one point from last year to score a 28 out of 100 on the corruption perception index––a global scale where 0 being totally corrupt and 100 totally transparent. Nicaragua’s failing grade puts the country in dubious company and ranks it among the most corrupt in the hemisphere, trailed only by Guyana, Honduras, Paraguay, Haiti and Venezuela.
Rounding out Central America, Guatemala ranks 123, Panama comes in at 102, El Salvador 83, and Costa Rica at 49 on the global index. Uruguay is perceived as the most transparent country in Latin America, ranking 19th on the global index in a tie with the United States with 73 points. Sixty-six percent of Latin American countries scored below 50 points.
Globally, Denmark and New Zealand topped list with scores of 91 out of 100. At the other end are Somalia, North Korea and Afghanistan, which each scored 8 points.