This Spotlight analyzes three of the most effective measures against corruption in Chile, and then asks what the region can learn from the Chilean case.


Latin American countries have pioneered the fight against corruption. However, that fight has just begun. The 2018 Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index shows that, despite global efforts to curb corruption, cultural changes and the announcement of positive results have been slow. However, another Transparency International survey shows that seven out of ten Latin American respondents think they have a role to play in this ethical pursuit.

Currently, strong anticorruption sentiments are present throughout Latin America, as demonstrated by the results of the 2018 elections in the region, which featured campaign slogans such as El Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele’s “There’s enough money when no one steals,” and statements like Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s “Nothing has damaged Mexico more than corruption and impunity.” However, how can this momentum in the region be maintained? How can Latin America take the next step toward institutional reforms? There is no doubt that social apathy adds fuel to the corruption fire. To this end, how can citizens get involved in the fight against corruption?

The Transparency International Report from March 2018 shows great awareness of corruption in the Latin American public sector and highlights the creation of strict anticorruption laws, as has happened in Chile. In fact, these laws are a major area of strength in Chile, particularly with respect to issues of public contracting and political funding. Even though certain institutions still facilitate dishonest practices, Chile has been a regional leader on transparency and anticorruption matters.