Brazil Seen as More Corrupt Than Argentina in Global Ranking

  • Brazil sinks 17 positions in Transparency International index
  • Venezuela and Mexico seen as most corrupt key LatAm countries

A blow up doll resembling former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in a prison uniform is seen on a street during a protest in Sao Paulo.

Photographer: Patricia Monteiro/Bloomberg

Brazil is now seen as more corrupt than Argentina for the first time in over two decades after suffering last year one of the biggest plunges among the nations tracked by a global transparency ranking.

Latin America’s largest economy fell 17 positions in the 2017 index released by graft watchdog Transparency International on Thursday. It now ranks 96th among 180 nations, tied in the region with Colombia and Peru. Only two other countries in the whole index -- Bahrain and Liberia -- slid more than Brazil last year. Argentina meantime rose 10 spots, to 85th place and now ranks better than Brazil for the first time since 1996.

Transparency Score

Argentina scores better than Brazil for the first time since 1996, according to watchdog

Source: Transparency International

Note: A lower score means a country is seen as more corrupt

A series of corruption scandals have rocked Brazil over the past few years as the so-called Carwash probe uncovered a massive kickback scheme involving the country’s political and business elite. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was convicted for graft last year while allegations against President Michel Temer are still being investigated. In Argentina, meanwhile, President Mauricio Macri has worked to make public tenders more transparent and successfully pushed for a law allowing plea bargain testimonies to resolve corruption cases.

Among key Latin American countries, the least transparent are still Venezuela (169th position) and Mexico (135th spot). Transparency International’s ranking is based on surveys and assessments from 12 institutions and has become a benchmark gauge of corruption perception used by analysts and investors.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.