Corruption, the misuse of power in the form of money or authority to achieve certain goals, is one of the world’s biggest and toughest issues that prevent a nation's political and economic operations to function properly, affecting the entire population.
In Colombia, corruption is a serious obstacle for the country’s growth. Studies show that 56% of Colombians believe that corruption is one of the principal issues of the country. The government has try to eradicate this problem including in the Colombian Penal Code and the Anti-Corruption Act several forms to criminalize corruption, including active and passive bribery, extortion, abuse of office, gifts and facilitation payments; However, corruption figures haven’t change much.
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI), published by Transparency International, places Colombia as the 87th of 168 countries evaluated. Colombia scored 37 points of a 100 (being 0 the largest corruption perception).
Is estimated that in two decades corruption has costs about COP189 billion, which represents 4% of the country’s GDP of that time.
The Colombian Office for Transparency says that they rather not to publish official figures about how much corruption costs to the nation. Even though, is very difficult to quantify this amount, Edgardo Maya, the Colombian Comptroller General, estimates that corruption reaches the amount of COP 50 billion per year, that is almost a billion per week.
Those COP50 billion, would be enough to pay the 2017 Nation’s debt, or to develop up to 3 metro lines in Bogotá. In other words, in a country with as many needs as Colombia, that amount of money could be used in several different sectors, education, health, infrastructure, social assistance, to name some. Figures as high as this ones, make it clear that is time to stop the massive wave of corruption that is holding down Colombia’s development.
LatinAmerican Post | Elizabeth Pinto Zambrano