Has Latin America’s Crusade Against Corruption Gone Too Far?

In Brazil, where independent judges have exercised a direct impact on the electoral process, have they not opened the way to extremist rabble-rousers like the conservative candidate Jair Bolsonaro, while simultaneously making the country ungovernable?

And are the calls for an internationally supported truth commission on corruption and human rights violations in Mexico a symptom of civil society being fed up with interminable scandals, or a menace to the country’s eternally weak justice system?

There are no simple answers to these questions. Any flat-out judgment, in either direction, is bound to be schematic and skewed. The facts on the ground are that with two or three exceptions — Uruguay, Chile and perhaps Costa Rica — no country in Latin America has ever been spared massive doses of corruption. Standing institutions alone have never functioned effectively either

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