Honduran Cardinal Quits Transparency International

Disputes Charge of Corruption Against His Country

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, MAR. 30, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Tegucigalpa announced his withdrawal from the Berlin-based Transparency International, which combats corruption in the world, calling its criteria unfair.



"I withdrew from TI because I do not agree with the method it uses to measure corruption in some countries," Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez told the Associated Press on Thursday.

Cardinal Rodríguez said he believes TI has lost prestige internationally, "for repeating the same story that some countries, such as Honduras, are corrupt."

"I left TI in protest over the unjust way our country is treated, which is endeavoring to take a step forward in the struggle against corruption," he stressed.

The cardinal has presided over the TI chapter in Honduras since 1994. He is also head of the National Anti-Corruption Council of Honduras, created this month by President Carlos Flores Facussé, with the participation of more than 20 business, labor and agricultural sector leaders.

Founded by World Bank expert Peter Eigen in 1993, TI publishes frequent reports analyzing its perception of corruption in 99 countries of the world. TI studies rate countries between 1 and 10, in relation to the degree of transparency practiced by governments, with 1 representing the minimum, and 10 the maximum.

In 1999, TI rated Honduras 1.8, classifying it as the most corrupt country in Latin America. Honduras was not included in TI´s list for 2000, as investors had lost interest in the country.