Corruption in Latin America: What’s New? What’s Next?


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While corruption scandals have exploded in Latin America, there’s little evidence that overall levels of corruption have increased. Instead, a variety of factors have helped make corruption more visible and less tolerated. Perhaps most importantly, the region has undergone two decades of policy changes, institutional development, and strengthening of social accountability mechanisms. Many of these accountability reforms, international agreements, and transparency laws—some of which date back to the 1990s—may be indirectly responsible for the current anti-corruption wave, having taken years to bear fruit. The question remains how direct the causal links are between this normative framework and the ongoing scandals, as well as what lessons can be gleaned for future reforms and whether the current momentum can be sustained.

The Dialogue is pleased to host this open discussion on how accountability reforms have changed Latin America’s fight against corruption. For more read Kevin Casas-Zamora and Miguel Carter’s report: Beyond the Scandals: The Changing Context of Corruption in Latin America.

Follow this event on Twitter at #CorruptionLAC and @The_Dialogue


Kevin Casas-Zamora

Non-Resident Senior Fellow, Inter-American Dialogue (@KevinCasasZ)


Sarah Chayes

Senior Fellow, Democracy and Rule of Law Program, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (@CarnegieDRoL)

Carlos Santiso

Head of the Innovation for Citizen Services Division, Inter-American Development Bank (@the_IDB


Michael Shifter

President, Inter-American Dialogue (@MichaelShifter)


Kevin Casas-Zamora is a non-resident senior fellow at the Inter-American Dialogue and a former vice-president of Costa Rica. Sarah Chayes is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment and a former special assistant to the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Carlos Santiso leads the Innovation for Citizen Services Division at the Inter-American Development Bank and an expert on anti-corruption initiatives. Michael Shifter is the president of the Inter-American Dialogue.

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