Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Corruption: a problem of regulation

By Andrés Felipe Joseph

Today, it seems that corruption is in the center of the public agenda of our Nations. It doesn’t matter if we are in elections period of if we aren’t. If you ask any citizen, politic or academic about the problems of our society or politic system, he or she, would mention corruption in the answer. But, despite of this perception, corruption isn’t a new topic in the agenda, and most important, should not have the importance and diffusion it has at this moment.

A little bit of research will show you that, at least, for the last 25 years most of the headlines of local media are related with corruption, and has been also, the main topic in the public agenda. For example, back in the earlies 90’s, our President quitted after the opposition groups proved his campaign was finance partially by money from illegal groups, related to drug traffic and murder. As and other examples, nowadays, every week media is discovering new scandals of corruption in the public and private sectors. From cartels to deviation of public resources, it looks that nobody acts transparently and in the rule of law.

But, whereas the visibility of this scourge, nobody in our country has full aptitude to quantify or monetize corruption, and much less, to determine the factors that motivate it and perpetuate it across time, despite the regulation, the administrative sanctions and sorrow. In this respect, it becomes clear that the problem of corruption (being this concept constructed based of subjective values materialized in a juridical framework) is caused artificially by the state regulation, that has defined most of political and corporative practices as criminal acts.

Therefore, the best way to provide both public and private sectors with a veil of transparency is by promoting the decriminalization of the conducts and practices that are inherent to the day to day develop of each sector. At maximum, the duty of the State must be the construction of a legal frame that provides standards of communication, transparency and good practices for public and private actions and the agents that develop them.

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