Honduras Corruption Rating Irks Cardinal

Challenges Transparency International´s Criteria

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TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras, JULY 4, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The archbishop of Tegucigalpa wants an international group to explain why it has listed Honduras among the most-corrupt countries in its report for 2001.

“I invited TI to come to this capital to discuss the procedures used to define the rates of corruption in the world; it has yet to respond,” Cardinal Oscar Andrés Rodríguez said Tuesday of Transparency International, a Berlin-based group. His statements were published by the Associated Press.

“It is necessary to know TI´s procedure in measuring countries different positions of corruption, because only in this way will it be possible to establish that in Honduras there is not as much corruption as in other Latin American nations,” the cardinal said.

From 1997 until last March, the archbishop presided over TI´s section on Honduras. But he quit after disagreements with the organization´s criticisms of his country.

Since then, the cardinal has headed a governmental commission created by President Carlos Flores Facussé to investigate corruption in his government. The commission includes 25 business, labor and rural leaders.

In its 2001 Corruption Perceptions Index, TI placed Honduras fourth in level of corruption in Latin America; the worst was Bolivia, followed by Ecuador and Nicaragua.

TI (http://www.transparency.org) was founded in 1993. It bases its evaluations on the surveys of other independent groups.

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