Corruption index reports many think problem is worse

More than half the respondents in a global poll on corruption released Tuesday think graft has worsened over the past two years, and 27 percent report having paid officials a bribe in the last 12 months.

Costa Rica was assigned 48th place in the world with a score of 54, but there was little more about the country in the report.

The survey by Berlin-based Transparency International also found that people have the least trust in institutions meant to protect or represent the public, including police and the courts.

Worldwide, political parties are considered the most corrupt institution, with respondents in 51 countries putting them at the top of the list. In 36 countries, people view police as the most corrupt, while in 20 the judiciary is seen as the most graft-ridden.

A Transparency spokesman pointed to a link between poverty and graft, saying eight of the 10 countries with the highest bribery rates are African.

According to the poll, corruption has also worsened in most Arab countries since their 2011 revolutions, even though anger with corrupt officials was a major reason for the uprisings.

In Israel, Japan, Sudan and South Sudan, religious bodies are considered highly corrupt.

A majority of people surveyed see governments as less effective at fighting corruption since the 2008 global financial crisis. Still, two-thirds of individuals asked to pay a bribe said they had refused, reflecting a growing will to fight back.

The group says its Global Corruption Barometer 2013 is the world’s largest public opinion survey on corruption. It surveyed 114,000 people in 107 countries.

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