The organization Transparency International released its annual Corruptions Perception Index today. El Salvador ranks relatively well among its peers, but that hardly means that it has a government with a reputation for honest officials.
Transparency International(TI) defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This definition encompasses corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries according to the perception of corruption in the public sector. The CPI is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries.
The 2010 CPI draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. It captures information about the administrative and political aspects of corruption. Broadly speaking, the surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.
El Salvador ranked number 73 out of 178 countries, and ranked 11 out of 28 countries in the Americas. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being the most corrupt and 10 the least, El Salvador's perceived level of corruption is a 3.6. Costa Rica was the only country in Central America to score higher. View the full results here.