Local January 25, 2020 | 5:42 am

Transparency International certifies Medina government failure to control corruption

The Corruption Perception Index (IPC) of the Transparency International (IT) 2019 organization, published this week, certifies the failure of the Government of Danilo Medina to fight corruption, after having started in 2012 proclaiming a Code of Ethical Guidelines and creating a commission to monitor it.

The CPI 2019 shows that the Dominican Republic only obtains a score of 28 out of 100, and occupies the 137th step among 180 countries evaluated, with setbacks in both lines, which leaves it among the most corrupt nations in Latin America, matched by Paraguay, and only surpassed by Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Nicaragua and Venezuela.

Setback in 2018

The report released worldwide in Berlin, and in Santo Domingo by the Civic Participation Citizen movement, national IT chapter, shows that in the last year the Dominican score fell from 30 to 28, and in the world ranking it fell from step 129 to 137. The previous year it had a slight rebound, from 29 to 30 points, and had decreased six positions from 135 to 129 in the last three years always among 180 countries evaluated.

Across the continent, the DR fares worse score-wise than 78 percent of nations and with 15 points below the regional average, which is 43. The best evaluated in the Americas is Canada, with a score of 77, United States 69, and Chile 67, as well as the Caribbean islands, Bahamas and Barbados, with 64 and 62 points out of 100.

Globally, the countries with the best score on transparency and lowest corruption are almost all of northern Europe, except New Zealand, tied with Denmark in the lead, with 87 points, and Singapore, which equals Finland, with 86. Then it’s Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Netherlands (Holland), Germany, Luxembourg, Iceland and Austria, Canada and the United Kingdom, which register from 85 to 77 points.

When analyzing the CPI, Citizen Participation found that of 110 countries with income per capita equal to or less than the DR, with an average of approximately $8,050 dollars, 62 percent are better positioned, although it has been shown that countries with higher incomes tend to have higher levels of institutionality and less corruption.

Failure for 14 years

In an analysis of the IT CPI record since 2006, when it began to cover 180 countries, it shows that DR has continued a persistent deterioration in corruption, which includes the lack of transparency and impunity, while in many countries they have achieved improvement. In 2006 the DR had the same score of 28 out of 100, but it was in the 99th position of the world ranking, which is 38 less than the 137 of 2019.

The retreat is more visible in the Government of President Danilo Medina, since in its beginning in 2012, it reached 32 points and position 118, from then on to ascend to the current 137, that is, 19 worse steps. In 2015 it appeared in 103, but with only 168 countries evaluated, that is 12 less. In any case, it implied an improvement, which worsened until now reaching the worst score and position in the ranking.

The failure is more significant to remember, as citizen participation did, that the country formalized the IT CPI by being included to measure the progress of objective 1.1 of Law 1-12 of National Development Strategy, of 2012 in which the Medina Government began. There it was set as a goal that RD would reach a score of 51 out of 100 by this 2020. The 28 points recorded in the last Index, barely exceed half of what was expected in reducing corruption.

The initial course was lost

The reverse is more significant because the current president began his administration by proclaiming a Code of Ethical Guidelines and issuing Decree 486-12, which created the General Directorate of Government Ethics and Integrity (DIGEIG). The Ministry of the Presidency also sponsored the formation of social oversight commissions, with the participation of social representatives, which over the years disappeared as long as the expectations of transparency were not met.

The decree attributed 42 responsibilities to the DIGEIG, which for the most part have not been fulfilled, highlighting among them, the Code of Ethics, according to which in addition to the Affidavit of Assets, senior government officials would have to submit an annual financial report, (Article 7) between August 15 and 30, specifying the evolution of your assets, including spouse. There is no record that a single official has done it and that it is not claimed.

As is tradition, in the first period of the Government of Medina, there were more efforts to control corruption and embezzlement, but the compass began to be lost from the search for his re-election, which in general said included a massive purchase of legislators to make it possible through constitutional reform.

The big scandals

But the worst thing broke out of the Government in December 2016, as soon as the second period began, with the revelations of the Odebrecht international corruption scandal, which involved the country significantly.

With the aggravating fact that the Public Ministry has evaded investigating the bribes of the period of government of Medina, especially its demonstrated links with the political-electoral advisor of Odebrecht, Joao Santana.

The shadows in the hiring of the current work of the current president, the coal plants of Planta Catalina, have pursued and will continue to persecute his regime. Audits of works contracted with Odebrecht have not yet been carried out and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists recently impacted public opinion by revealing records of bribes for $ 55 million in works by the current government, including 20 for coal plants, 28 pseudonyms of the recipients of these bribes, which are in the Odenbrecht records, were published, but no one in the government has been taken for granted.

Other corruption scandals during the current government were registered in the Office of Supervisory Engineers of Works of the State, in the Metropolitan Office of Bus Services and the State Sugar Council, in which there was a suicide and several deaths involved. In the Corporation of State Companies (CORDE) the scandal of the sale of an entire neighborhood at “price of a dead cow” was revealed.

Challenge to new government

Concern for the high levels of corruption in the country has increased in recent years and had their greatest expression in the Green March movement that during 2017 and 18 shook the country as hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets. While the surveys register it as one of the main evils, with up to 80 percent considering that it worsens.

The general conviction is that the government of Medina has failed to limit corruption, embezzlement, and impunity. And that will be one of the great challenges of the government to be established next August. “The total war on corruption and impunity” is item 1.2 of the political and institutional priorities subscribed by the Democratic Coalition for Change, headed by the Modern Revolutionary Party and proclaimed in November by 6 parties.

Political analysts agree that corruption and impunity have triggered an institutional deterioration that reaches increasingly worrying levels, while multiple expressions of civil society have it as a priority. The worst thing feared is that, as is traditional, the embezzlement and patronage of the election years trigger corruption and impunity even more.

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