Coronavirus

Covid-19 creates a corruption pandemic in Latin America

The pandemic led countries in Latin America to relax checks and balances on public procurement, opening paths for corruption

covid-19 latin america corruption
Illustration: Jika

While certainly not endemic to the region, corruption is a problem that has plagued Latin America throughout the last hundred years. As it becomes the world’s new Covid-19 epicenter, several corruption opportunities have sprouted across Latin American countries, with the population quarantined and checks and balances reduced — as the sweeping health crisis creates the need for swift moves and contracts to fight the pandemic.

Rio de Janeiro hit the headlines on Tuesday, when Brazil’s Federal Police launched Operation Placebo, investigating alleged corruption schemes of embezzling public funds by way of overpriced contracts to build Covid-19 field hospitals. Marshals carried...

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