Peru’s ombudsman begins anticorruption activities in Ayacucho

Peru’s ombudsman – the Defensoría del Pueblo – began on Thursday anti-corruption campaign in the southern Andean department of Ayacucho, state-run news agency Andina reported.

The head of the Defensoría’s office in Ayacucho, Jorge Fernández, said activities include providing training to public servants and social leaders on topics related to public ethics and preventing corruption.

“No public or private institution alone can confront this vice with success,” Fernández was quoted as saying. “You have to think of networks for collective action that promote public ethics. That’s why we hope that a benefit of the training received, authorities and social leaders will organize.”

The program in Ayacucho is part of a national anti-corruption campaign taking place in five regions under a program sponsored by USAID and the U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation.

Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), released in Berlin last November, gave Peru a score of 3.7, in a countries rating that ranges between 0, perceived to be highly corrupt, and 10 for those perceived to be the least corrupt.

The index registers the perception of corruption in the public sector of a country, and is obtained through a series of expert and business surveys, seven in the case of most of Latin America.

Peru fared better than some of its neighbors –Argentina scored 2.9, Bolivia 2.7, and Ecuador 2.2—but ranked the same as Brazil and Colombia. Chile is less corrupt than all its neighbors, scoring 6.7, while Venezuela ranked lowest in the Andean region with a score of 1.9.

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