Barbados is the least corrupt country in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) , according to a global transparency watchdog.
In its 2023 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report released on Tuesday, Transparency International ranked Barbados highest among countries of the 15-member regional grouping with a rank of 24 out of 180 countries across the world and a score of 69/100, followed by The Bahamas at 30 with a score of 64.
The CPI, which analyses how injustice and corruption impact one another around the world, ranks countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption, according to experts and businesspeople, on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).
St Vincent and the Grenadines is ranked 36 with a score of 60, followed by Dominica with a ranking of 42 and a score of 56, Saint Lucia 45th with a score of 55 and Grenada 49th with a score of 53.
Jamaica is ranked 69th with a score of 44, Trinidad and Tobago 76 with a score of 42, Guyana 87th with a score of 40, the same as Suriname, while Haiti is ranked 172 with a score of 17.
Transparency International said that in Latin America and the Caribbean, the lack of independence and transparency of the judiciary promotes corruption and the undue influence of political and economic elites.
“This renders many justice systems across the region incapable of applying the law effectively in an impartial manner or exercising their function as a check on other branches of government, which is fundamental for all well-functioning democracies.”
Transparency International reported that only Guyana and the Dominican Republic in the Americas have improved their CPI scores over the past decade, while the others have either stagnated or significantly declined.