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QCOSTARICA – Costa Ricans perceive themselves as the least corrupt in Central America according to date from the “2014 Corruption Perceptions Index ” report, that measures the perceived levels of
public sector corruption in 175 countries and territories using the perceived corruption indicator by Transparency International.

According to the report, in Costa Rica, the 5.3 average score exceed the 3.4 average for the region. The index is on a scale of 0-10, where 10 is the lowest level of corruption.

The Central American country with the highest perception of corruption was Honduras with 2.6, followed by Nicaragua (2.8) and Guatemala (2.9). Meanwhile in El Salvador and Panama the perception score was 3.5 and 3.9, respectively.

Despite getting the best rating in the region, Costa Rica is still far from reaching a low score, close to a 10 in perception.

The report also included a “corruption incidence” indicator, in which it found that three out of ten Costa Ricans say that a government employee has asked them for a bribe or gift in the last year.

Of the seven Central American countries, Costa Rica ranks fourth in corruption. Topping the list are Honduras (6.9), Belize (5.2) and Guatemala (4.5). Meanwhile the countries with the lower incidence of corruption are Panama and Nicaragua, where only 1.3 and 1.4 of the population claims to have been asked for a bribe. No numbers were available for El Salvador.

According to researcher Diego Fernández, the data indicates that the incidence of corruption is moderate, not the least, nor the highest.