Argentina not in great company here...

cricri58

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Yes, they publish it in La Nacion too. Argentina ranks badly , with only one point difference ! with Haiti. As both locals and expats living here know or should know, whether you like it or not, however your upright values have shaped you or not, it seems that we are in the same boat. Do you feel it is hopeless to try to struggle against it? And how, if there is something that can be done? Were you tempted to have the courage to, let us say, “report” someone you know for corruption? We are quite far from the Italian film “Gomorra” on Napoli ‘s organized crime, however.... Chris
 

ElQueso

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I have had times when I have fought against corruption in other countries, personally, by trying to be indignant and stand on principles, etc. It doesn't work. It is simply the way that things must be done in a country where it's an acceptable (albeit abhorred by some or many) practice.

The truth is, I haven't run across nearly as much corruption here in Argentina as I have in other countries. I had all kinds of problems, every time I turned around, in Brasil. The Ivory Coast, Angola - absolutely horrible and NOTHING can be done without greasing palms there, and the worst part is that often people don't stay bribed! The worst possible sort of corruption in my opinion!

As a foreigner, it is a lost cause to try to change anything. The change has to come from within the culture.

The US, for example, has little corruption and bribery on most levels of the public services and such - I'm not talking about kickbacks to contractors and other idiocies at much higher, and more private, levels - when it is found out, it is punished, but it is often not found out. But the US comes from a Puritan background (at least to start with) that seemed to stay with the country as it grew into a modern world.

Latin American countries are different. They didn't come from the "prim and proper" and it's a reason why other aspects of the culture, in my opinion, are superior to that in the States.

Start changing the culture to remove corruption and bribery, and you'll probably end up changing other aspects of the culture too, including some of the personal freedoms that exist here that the busy-bodies in the States are restraining more and more on a daily basis.

Everything in life is a trade-off.
 

davonz

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I hope my argentine friends see it in the paper as they dont believe me when i tell them there is no corruption in NZ..
 

Attorney in BA

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ElQueso said:
(...) The US, for example, has little corruption and bribery on most levels of the public services and such - I'm not talking about kickbacks to contractors and other idiocies at much higher, and more private, levels - when it is found out, it is punished, but it is often not found out. (...)
Here goes a question I've had on my head for some time now. Does anybody think that Rod Blagojevich would still be governor had he been in Argentina instead of Illinois? I personally think he -very likely- would still be.
 

ElQueso

Registered
Attorney, I think you're right, he would still be governor here.

I don't know the history of the Kirchners very well, but I think they could be an example of something similar. I saw recently that there has been an inquiry into their finances, having suddenly doubled recently (I don't remember the details). I've heard comments previously from many of my Argentine friends about their rise to power over the years and how much they've picked up along the way.

I was talking a couple of years ago with an Argentine business associate who was talking about a large (I think US) foreign company who had made a deal with the Argentine government to convert the immigration systems, I think related to the DNI processing, printing, etc. They had gone over their budget some couple of hundred of millions of dollars due to the coima they had to continuously pay to get access and get approvals and all sorts of things. At the time the project was put on hold or cancelled due to lack of funds. I don't know if this has anything to do with the new DNIs they are putting out now.

My associate had told me that roughly a third of big government projects end up as coima in official's pockets.
 

fifilafiloche

Registered
cricri58 said:
Yes, they publish it in La Nacion too. Argentina ranks badly , with only one point difference ! with Haiti. As both locals and expats living here know or should know, whether you like it or not, however your upright values have shaped you or not, it seems that we are in the same boat. Do you feel it is hopeless to try to struggle against it? And how, if there is something that can be done? Were you tempted to have the courage to, let us say, “report” someone you know for corruption? We are quite far from the Italian film “Gomorra” on Napoli ‘s organized crime, however.... Chris
Report to whom? Police is an active part of the corruption, like in Russia. As expats, we can only witness what is going on, there is absolutely no way you can change the culture. You could just refuse to bribe on a personal scale, but this upright attitude can be very costly and time consuming, like swimming against the tide.

The way out? Argentina might want to keep an eye on their chilean neighbour rather than Venezuela. Corruption is not an inevitable latin american syndrom, the way out is slow, difficult, but possible. It lies in education and law enforcement. Uruguay, Chile, Brazil chose to head to a more modern and transparent democracy. Uribe in Colombia, despite the civil war, has the same goal.

For this, there needs to be a political will to balance juridical, executive and legislative powers and be vigilent about the separation of those powers.
 

ssr

Registered
fifilafiloche said:
Report to whom? Police is an active part of the corruption, like in Russia. As expats, we can only witness what is going on, there is absolutely no way you can change the culture. You could just refuse to bribe on a personal scale, but this upright attitude can be very costly and time consuming, like swimming against the tide.

The way out? Argentina might want to keep an eye on their chilean neighbour rather than Venezuela. Corruption is not an inevitable latin american syndrom, the way out is slow, difficult, but possible. It lies in education and law enforcement. Uruguay, Chile, Brazil chose to head to a more modern and transparent democracy. Uribe in Colombia, despite the civil war, has the same goal.

For this, there needs to be a political will to balance juridical, executive and legislative powers and be vigilent about the separation of those powers.
Chile and Uruguay are tied for 25th on that list, right below France. I read somewhere that trying to bribe a cop in Chile will land you in prison, which is, of course, the way things are supposed to be.
 

cabrera

Registered
If corruption was properly defined SSR the USA would be near the bottom of the list . Invading countries based on false information and then occupying them whilst killing and maimimg their citizens is for most people the most corrupt act of all . Why have one million iraqis died , 100000 afghanis, thousands of pakistanis and many more due to wars based on false information fed to a mostly gullible public.

And corruption in the medical system in the USA has no equal in the world with medicine bankrupting many families and basic care astronomically expensive.

Corruption within the police force in the USA has no equal as well with the right of arrest and more people jailed per capita than anywhere in the world . The brutality used by the police for minor offences in the USA has no equal in Argentina where the police at times violent do not even come close to the brutality of the USA police with their taser guns and their heavy handed attitude.

Argentina and most of latin America has freedom than only very few USA citizens can dream about . Money does not mean that you are free as most USA citizens are slaves to the financial system and now are being turfed out of their homes in the worlds highest numbers . At the moment there are more 10 times as many homeless in the USA than here in Argentina.
 
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