CELAC Fights Corruption, Divided on Policy by The Globe and Mail

Photo of CELAC Committee

Photo of CELAC Committee

The Globe and Mail, Lauren Doyle

With the set agenda being managing corruption, CELAC doubled down on their stance on fighting corruption. However, there was no present consensus as to how.

The tight packed room dripped with an excited energy as delegates politely stepped up to speak for their moderated caucus time. Once the motion was proposed to go into an unmoderated caucus and quickly passed, the room combusted with the fiery energy it was containing.

“I think there’s a lot of back and forth on the topic,” said Dominica, a country that has experienced massive governmental corruption. The two popular choices for reforming corruption were either to find and prosecute any corrupt government officials, or increase the salaries of the government workers to remove any incentive to steal from the government.

Battle lines were drawn during unmoderated caucus as different countries grouped together over various working papers to discuss their course of action.

“Because corruption doesn’t have one cause. There’s no one cause, there’s not one type of corruption,” Brazil said, expressing why she thinks that there are so many different working papers being edited around the table.

Honduras echoed Brazil’s desire for specificity, explaining that there are various types of corruption including administrative corruption, law enforcement corruption, and trickle – down corruption.
The two options for solutions to corruption were also governed by the longevity of the solutions. Issues like voter education were meant to focus on long term solutions, while dealing with drug scandals and arresting corrupt politicians were meant to be more short term solutions.

Argentina spoke on the division between ideas in CELAC, stating, “I think everyone wants peaceful countries free of corruption but everyone has different ways of getting there.”
She also expressed there are clear divisions on working papers based on the type of corruption that is most important to the papers’ sponsors.

A different working paper being written in another section of the room by countries including Uruguay and Peru focused on diversifying the government with a larger group delegating governmental control over a country, in an attempt to further strengthen the bonds of checks and balances in corrupt governments.

This working paper also stressed the importance of government transparency in an effort to improve civilian knowledge of the actions of government workers. The goal is to create more positive government-governing relationships in countries where government officials have previously perverted the trust of the citizens.

The issue of corruption in Latin American and Caribbean governments is an issue that affects many places across the globe. An improvement in the economic state of Latin America and the Caribbean is an improvement to the world economy, and therefore the pursuit for corruption-less governments is one from which the entire global community can benefit.