The Odebrecht Scandal Reveals Latin America’s Changing Attitudes on Corruption

Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, listens to Vice President German Vargas Lleras present an annual report in Bogota, March 14, 2017 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).
Colombia's president, Juan Manuel Santos, listens to Vice President German Vargas Lleras present an annual report in Bogota, March 14, 2017 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

That high-level corruption is a serious problem in much of the world is no surprise. But when the Odebrecht case—a massive corruption scandal, possibly even the largest ever uncovered anywhere—burst onto the front pages of newspapers in nearly a dozen Latin American countries, it raised an important question: Is the uncovering and prosecution of major cases of graft a good sign or a bad one? Is it evidence that corruption is even more widespread than anyone knew and becoming worse? Or is it proof that the age of endemic corruption is coming to an end? The wrongdoing at Odebrecht, a […]

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