Corruption in Latin America Seen to Be Multiplying

Bishops Host International Seminar to Seek Solutions

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GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador, JUNE 23, 2010 (Zenit.org).- There are a multitude of roots that give rise to the ugly reality of corruption, but the current spread of the phenomenon is perhaps unparalleled in history, participants in an international seminar have suggested.



The seminar gathered in Ecuador this month Church and civil leaders from 16 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The Latin American bishops' council hosted the five-day conference.

The first days of the meeting were dedicated to examining the situation, causes and consequences of corruption in Latin America. The following days focused on the illumination offered by the social doctrine of the Church and on seeking solutions in the pastoral ministry of the Church.

"Although corruption has existed in different moments of the continent's history, we could say that we are witnessing a 'geometric' progression in the recent period," a final statement from the seminar asserts. "We see it in the growth of organized drug trafficking networks and frequently in electoral contests, especially in re-election processes that deteriorate the institutions of democracy."
 
"We see old and new models of corruption, among them those related to privatizations, public debt, the purchase of armaments, within the framework of resistance to implementing international conventions against corruption," participants added.

Though noting multiple causes, the seminar participants highlighted the imitation effect, the crisis of values that peoples are experiencing, the lack of political will to punish this evil, low salaries and administrative anachronisms.

They called for formation in ethics and values for ordinary citizens. And they emphasized the need for teamwork, including alliances between the Church and other organizations.
 
The participants assured that they have not lost hope in the search for solutions to the problems that exist in society. Hence, they affirmed that they could not "remain inactive in the contemplation of those things that we can change with a serious commitment that stems from faith."