Nearly 30% of people who use major public services in Latin America and the Caribbean countries have paid bribe in the last one year, for services such as school, hospitals, acquiring ID documents, utilities, police and courts, finds a survey by Transparency International.

The survey of 22,302 people from 20 countries, done between May 2016 and December 2016, found that close to two-thirds (62%) of those surveyed believing that corruption had increased in their countries.

Mexico, where one in two people reported having to pay bribes, has the highest bribery rate across the region. It is by the Dominican Republic and Peru.

It found that probably because 28 per cent of people who reported corruption in the region suffered from retaliation, only nine per cent of those surveyed come forward to report bribes. But over two thirds of citizens believed that they can make a difference in the fight against corruption.

“The people of Latin America and the Caribbean are being let down by their governments, their political class and their private sector leaders,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

“Bribery represents a means for enrichment of the few, and a significant barrier to accessing key public services, particularly for the most vulnerable in society,” he said.

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