Essay on Corruption in South America

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Corruption is present almost everywhere in the world. But in this special on this continent, corruption got a big place in the society. Effectively, South America is one of the most corrupt continents in the world just after the Africa and before the Europe.

In Colombia, recent reports reveal that the Brazilian construction company has been bribing the country’s public officials considering that 2010. With the 2018 presidential campaign heating up, the revelation is spurring dissatisfaction with President Juan Manuel Santos and imperiling the country’s fledgling peace process.

On April 1, up to 16,000 Colombians took to the streets to decry corruption and express ongoing dissatisfaction with the peace accords signed with the FARC guerrillas. It was, in many ways, a march against the Colombian political establishment. Public debate around the marches was largely redirected by mudslides in the metropolis of Mocoa, the capital of the Putumayo province. They killed more than 300 citizens, consisting of dozens of children, on the night of March 31.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos flying over the flood-hit areas of Putumayo province. The tragedy gave Santos, who is now getting into the last 12 months of his administration, the opportunity to reassert his leadership. And it temporarily relieved the pressures that the Odebrecht corruption scandal was exerting on his government.

Colombia is now not a regional outlier. Mass protests in 2016 famously contributed to the impeachment of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. And continuing public ire has helped spur the courts there to ship numerous high-ranking officials to detention center for corruption. Argentina and Chile are also seeing residents protest leaders from the political left, right and center. In many cases, public outcry is linked to the large number of government officials determined to be in the pocket of Odebrecht, whose bribery network reaches from Colombia and Peru to Angola and Mozambique. But in Colombia, the corporation is only phase of a more intricate story behind current protests. Public malfeasance has long been common in the country. The 1994 presidential campaign of Ernesto Samper, for example, was found to have been funded via the Cali Cartel, then one of Colombia’s most powerful trafficking organizations. Even the main instigators of the April 1 march – former President Alvaro Uribe and former Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez – have themselves been found to be trapped in various corruption scandals. But that well-reported reality has not stopped them from actively mobilizing public opinion towards corruption within the present-day government. President Santos faces an unusual and contradictory political reality. Internationally, he is nicely regarded as a Nobel Peace Prize winner lauded for his efforts to stop Colombia’s armed conflict. But, at home, he is highly unpopular, with disapproval ratings of 71%. This is due to an ironic twist of fate for the president. In signing the November 2016 peace accords with the FARC guerrillas, Santos took the previously overwhelming question of armed conflict out of the spotlight and allowed corruption to take center stage in the public mind.

Santos is a career politician, who served as minister of defense under his predecessor Alvaro Uribe, and is the grand-nephew of a former president. His detractors, led through Uribe, who is now among his most strident critics are now using this experience to discredit him, calling him ‘immoral’ and ‘corrupt’. As proof for their claims, they cite a formal investigation by Colombia’s legal professional general into whether the Odebrecht bribes played a position in Santos’ 2014 presidential campaign.

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Presidents with irreconcilable differences. The anti-Santos right-wing coalition includes the scandal-beset Ordoñez, as properly as former minister of defense Marta Lucía Ramírez, and former vice president German Vargas Lleras. All of them fiercely opposed and nearly derailed the FARC accords in 2016. And all intend to run for the presidency in 2018.This group does now not have enough help to wield veto power in Congress. But with the aid of uniformly resisting any action undertaken through Santos and using smear campaigns to have an effect on voter opinion, it has been successfully undermining the credibility of the current administration over the past two years.

The April 1 march is another tactic. In leveraging corruption concerns, the opposition seeks to position itself ahead of Santos’s party in next year’s presidential campaign. Among other declared candidates, individuals of Uribe’s faction will go up against Humberto de la Calle. He is a distinguished figure from the Santos camp and was once the government’s lead negotiator in the FARC peace process. They will also stand in opposition to Bogota’s leftist former mayor, Gustavo Petro, whom Ordoñez removed for administrative malfeasance. The favorability rating of most of these would-be presidents has been falling recently, showing a well-known loss of legitimacy for Colombian political parties and their representatives.

In this twisted fashion, Brazil’s Odebrecht corruption scandal, which is certainly no longer just limited to that country, brings to the fore the paradox of Latin America’s burgeoning citizen engagement. It is vital for democracy that human beings voice discontent with corruption, and Latin Americans’ increasing intolerance for the bribery, embezzlement and deal-making that has lengthy characterized institutions on the continent is good. Protesters in Peru march against the Odebrecht scandal, which has the political establishment reeling.

In many countries, the Odebrecht backlash has verified dramatic, increasing ire towards governments already under giant pressure for unpopular measures, such as Brazil’s price range cuts and Argentina’s teacher strikes. In Colombia, it is putting institutions to the take a look at and shaping presidential politics. Corruption can no longer be cloaked under the veil of national security pursuits and blamed on the existence of an armed group like the FARC. The absence of a fighting rhetoric within Colombia obliges the authorities to be more in charge to citizens. That too is healthy.

But when popular outrage is manipulated through political operators who seek to strengthen their interests, democracy suffers. As in Brazil (where the main driver of Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, Eduardo Cunha, has now been jailed for corruption), politicians in Colombia tainted through other scandals are the use of Odebrecht as a Trojan horse to position their own political agendas.

It is a risky tactic in a nation that is still fantastically fragile. If Colombia’s institutions fail this challenge, the USA could face a dramatic political transition, and a kingdom attempting to quit war may find peace once more endangered.

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Essay on Corruption in South America. (2023, January 31). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 18, 2024, from
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