The Corruption of Latin America

  • Robert I. Rotberg


The nations of Latin America are afflicted with corruption, public and private. Reverberations from Brazil’s ongoing Lava Jato scandal have implicated at least a third of the countries of the region in its pay-for-play results. At the center of this vast web of conspiracy and illicit dealings are construction companies, giant petroleum exploiters, and presidents, vice-presidents, cabinet ministers, and regional political leaders across the continent. This chapter and the ones that follow explain what happened and why it happened (over decades in some instances) across a range of troubled Latin American countries from Argentina in the south to Mexico in the north. A section in this chapter explains why Uruguay, Chile, and Costa Rica are less corrupt than their neighbors. A final chapter suggests how Latin America can reduce the onslaught of corruption.


Lava Jato Odebrecht Sergio Moro Criminal gangs Narcotics traffickers Petty corruption Grand corruption Petrobras Lula Provincial corruption Municipal corruption Contract fraud Definitions: Abuse of public trust Cost estimates Corruption Perceptions Index Index of Public Integrity 

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert I. Rotberg
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Kennedy SchoolLexingtonUSA

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