Government Missteps Exacerbate Chile’s Growing Corruption Problem

Government Missteps Exacerbate Chile’s Growing Corruption Problem
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet waves from a palace balcony, Quito, Ecuador, Oct. 15, 2015 (AP photo by Dolores Ochoa).

Editor’s note: This article is part of an ongoing WPR series on the impact of corruption and various countries’ efforts to combat it.

Earlier this month, in response to several corruption scandals among high-level officials that were exposed by reporters and prosecutors, the Chilean Senate passed a bill that would punish anyone for making public any information about ongoing judicial investigations. Chilean journalists called it a “gag law.” In an email interview, Peter M. Siavelis, a professor of politics and international affairs and the director of the Latin American and Latino studies program at Wake Forest University, discussed Chile’s fight against corruption.

WPR: How big a problem is corruption, both low-level and government-level, in Chile, and to the degree it is one, how does it manifest itself in daily life?

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