Political Corruption in Peru

By Tatsiana Rahozina Jan. 29, 2020 Weekly Graphs

In the light of the general elections in Peru on 26 January, this week’s graph highlights the comparative evolution of corruption in Peru and its neighboring countries using the political corruption index and the V-Dem Variable Graph tool.

Since 2017, corruption scandals have fueled an unprecedented constitutional crisis in Peru. President Vizcarra assumed the office in October 2018 after his successor, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned amid a second impeachment on vote-buying and bribery charges. Vizcarra, who pledged to fight corruption and push for more concrete legislative measures, faced resistance from right-wing lawmakers in the Peruvian Congress. In October 2019, Vizcarra exercised his executive power to dissolve the Congress and call for an early election.

Political milieu around elections time in Peru has much to do with the consequences of the Odebrecht corruption scandal. Top officials, including former presidents, were involved in bribery deals with a Brazilian construction company Odebrecht. The leader of the biggest party in the Peruvian Congress and twice presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori was imprisoned for more than a year on allegations of receiving money from Odebrecht. 

Political corruption index includes measures of 6 different types of corruption and runs from less corrupt (0) to more corrupt (1). With the exception of Chile, Peru and its neighbors tend to have rather high levels of political corruption. In 2015, Peru witnessed a slight decline in political corruption scores, placing it second to Chile in the neighborhood. Nevertheless, corruption remains a high-profile issue with a large impact on Peru’s current political developments. The graph also reflects the barriers President Vizcarra has faced in rooting out corruption, as scores on the political corruption index remain flat during his year in office.  

To learn more about V-Dem’s graphing tools, visit www.v-dem.net. 

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