Out of 178 countries, Paraguay ranked 146. Only Venezuela ranked worse in South America, as number 164.
The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries according to perception of corruption in the public sector.
“The CPI is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries,” says the report. The 2010 CPI draws on different assessments and business opinion surveys carried out by independent and reputable institutions. It captures information about the administrative and political aspects of corruption. Broadly speaking, the surveys and assessments used to compile the index include questions relating to bribery of public officials, kick-backs in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and questions that probe the strength and effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.
“Perceptions are used because corruption – whether frequency or amount – is to a great extent a hidden activity that is difficult to measure. Over time, perceptions have proved to be a reliable estimate of corruption.
“Measuring scandals, investigations or prosecutions, while offering ‘non-perception’ data, reflect less on the prevalence of corruption in a country and more on other factors, such as freedom of the press or the efficiency of the judicial system.
“Transparency International considers it of critical importance to measure both corruption and integrity, and to do so in the public and private sectors at global, national and local levels.”
Don't ask me my perception on Paraguay's corruption this week. Just please pray that things change.