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Bolivia

Capital

La Paz (administrative); Sucre (legislative/judiciary)

Territory

1,083,300km²

Population (2020)

11,673,029

GDP Total (2020)

36.69B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

3,143 USD

Icome Group

Lower middle income

Convention Implementation

62.7
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

18th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

63.2

8th of 12 countries

Corruption Resilience

43.8
Vulnerable

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

25th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

53.9

11th of 12 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Core-deficient
41.7

Western Hemisphere 46.3

South America 47.3

Standards of Conduct

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 42.8

South America 48.0

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 58.7

Training of Public Officials

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 36.8

South America 44.5

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 42.3

South America 45.8

Transparency in Government Contracting

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 33.1

South America 40.3

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 47.1

South America 49.2

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
25

Western Hemisphere 36.0

South America 37.6

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 36.7

South America 40.6

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 43.0

South America 52.8

Study of Other Prevention Measures

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 44.9

South America 48.1

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
65.5

Western Hemisphere 61.1

South America 64.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
40.6

Western Hemisphere 30.7

South America 34.8

Scope

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.7

South America 75

Jurisdiction: Offense-in-Territory

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 74.6

South America 77.8

Jurisdiction: Offense-by-National

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 51.9

South America 62.6

Jurisdiction: Offender-in-Territory

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 58.8

South America 79.1

Passive Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 55.3

Active Public Bribery

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 56.4

South America 55.3

Abuse of Functions

Core-deficient
21.8

Western Hemisphere 47.0

South America 48.4

Money Laundering

In progress
43.7

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 54.3

Participation and Attempt

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 58.4

South America 56.4

Active Foreign Bribery

Implemented
95.3

Western Hemisphere 39.0

South America 34.4

Illicit Enrichment

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 54.7

South America 59.2

Use of State Property

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.5

South America 85.5

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 52.1

South America 59.5

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 77.6

South America 83.2

Passive Foreign Bribery

Implemented
95.3

Western Hemisphere 25.6

South America 22.0

Private Bribery

Core-deficient
26.5

Western Hemisphere 22.7

South America 26.4

Private Embezzlement

In progress
64.0

Western Hemisphere 64.7

South America 70.4

Obstruction of Justice

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.4

South America 79.1

Liability of Legal Persons

In progress
45.3

Western Hemisphere 61.3

South America 60.6

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.6

South America 84.3

Prosecution, Adjudication and Sanctions

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 69.5

South America 71.2

Consequences and Compensation

In progress
45.3

Western Hemisphere 70.3

South America 77.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 72.2

South America 72.9

Asset Recovery

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 66.4

South America 68.4

International cooperation

Implemented
71.9

Western Hemisphere 68.9

South America 72.5

Assistance Without Criminalization

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 79.8

South America 82.8

Inclusion in Extradition Treaties

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 55.1

South America 55.3

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 47.5

South America 55.2

Automatic Application Without Treaty

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 52.7

South America 54.9

Prosecution Without Extradition

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 57.2

South America 58.7

Custody

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 73.4

South America 70.1

Assistance

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 58.0

South America 64.6

Impossibility of Claiming Bank Secrecy

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.0

South America 86.3

Limited Use of Information

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 82.6

South America 89.5

Nature of Act

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 84.3

South America 83.3

Designate Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 75.9

South America 86.5

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 71.5

South America 74.9

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 67.3

South America 78.3

Special Investigative Techniques

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 56.9

South America 52.0

Technical Cooperation

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 62.8

South America 78.3

Anti-corruption conventions timeline

199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010201120122013201420152016201720182019202020212022

Conventions

  • IACAC - Inter-American Convention Against Corruption
  • UNCAC - United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • OECD Anti-Bribery Convention

Key events

  • Signed
  • Ratifed / acceded
  • Review rounds

Convention Implementation Analysis

Bolivia signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on January 23, 1997. It is a State Party to the Follow-Up Mechanism for the Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Corruption (MESICIC) since June 4, 2001. The country also signed the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) on December 9, 2003, and subsequently ratified it on December 5, 2005. Accordingly, Bolivia has undergone six rounds of review under MESICIC, and one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

Bolivia’s record in implementing its commitments to IACAC and UNCAC exhibits a number of successes but also a modicum of failures. With an overall score of 62.7, the measures adopted place the country at the middle point of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Paraguay (60.8), Venezuela (61.0), Panama (63.5), and Jamaica (65.1). Despite achieving higher success in regard to criminalization and international cooperation (as is the case throughout the region) over half of all preventive measures are found to be in progress while a number of measures in the former sections receive failing scores.

The prevention of corruption is deficient but not totally lacking, classified as “core-deficient” by its average score and with two measures found absent—i.e., the elimination of favorable tax treatment for corrupt expenditures and measures to deter domestic and foreign bribery related to accounting regulations, for which the country does not have specific legislation and did not present results. However, aside from these and the state of oversight bodies (25.0) and standards of conduct (40.6) all other provisions in this section are found to be in progress. Considering them across all three sections, preventive measures account for precisely one third of all underdeveloped measures in the country.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Bolivia shows better results than those regarding prevention, although significant deficiencies remain. The country has not adopted sufficient protection for those who report acts of corruption (i.e., whistleblower protection), established international jurisdiction over offenses committed by a national, extended the range of predicate offenses for money laundering to include those involving the private sector, or specifically criminalized the abuse of functions, bribery in the private sector, or the illicit acquisition of a benefit (i.e., influence trading). Other measures, such as the active and passive bribery of foreign officials and illicit enrichment has been fully or largely implemented, and the criminalization of embezzlement in the private sector shows encouraging results (although still in progress). Overall, almost half of all the measures in this section are found to comply with Bolivia’s international commitments, resulting in an average section score of 65.6.

Bolivia is found generally compliant with its commitments regarding international cooperation, with only two measures remaining fully unimplemented: the regulation and application of special investigative techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover operations, and others; and the possibility of prosecuting corrupt offenses when an extradition request has been denied. Regarding the latter, the country reported during its third round of review of MESICIC that the lack of legislation on the matter meant that “it is not obliged to bring the case to the attention of its domestic authorities for prosecution, much less report the final outcome to the requesting country.” Concerning other measures in this section, a majority of them are found to be implemented, with only five measures still in progress.

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Moderately Resilient
59.9

Western Hemisphere 64.8

South America 64.2

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
48.4

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 52.4

Rule of Law

Vulnerable
35.3

Western Hemisphere 51.1

South America 50.7

Business Stability

Vulnerable
30.6

Western Hemisphere 50.5

South America 48.1

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
45.0

Western Hemisphere 55.0

South America 54.4

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

In 2020, Bolivia saw an increase in its social context indicator by 1.75 points from 2019, improving civil liberties and media freedom. Despite increases in its social context indicator, the country's score remains below the average of 64.89 for the region. In 2010, Bolivia's social context indicator was 62.14, the highest score it had achieved in a decade, whereas between 2011 and 2020, the country's score varied by +/- 2.50 points. The decline in the country's score can be credited to the practice of freedom of expression within the country. For example, the Bolivian constitution guarantees freedom of expression—however, in practice, the media's restrictions are constrained when media outlets are critical of the government. Additionally, the political rights of indigenous groups within the country are overlooked, despite having constitutional protection.

In terms of the quality of government and institutions, Bolivia’s 2020 score declined by 1.14 points from the previous year. The country's indicator score fell below the Western Hemisphere average for 2020 by 2.19 points. Since 2010, the country's score has been on a decline, especially after 2016. Bolivia's score can be attributed to a limited guarantee of fundamental rights, quality of bureaucratic systems, and constraints to the government, to name a few deficiencies. The country's low score is primarily caused by a lack of control over corruption and the 2019 political crisis, where President Evo Morales ignored the country's two-term limit.

Bolivia's rule of law indicator declined by 1.53 points from the previous year and falls within the lower percentile for the Western Hemisphere. The country's score fell below the regional average by 15.82 points for 2020. Since 2010, Bolivia's score has been declining. The country's low score is impacted by how judicial appointments take place, commonly during highly politicized (popular) elections that are conducive to corruption.

In 2020, the country's business stability indicator decreased by 1.01 points from the previous year. Bolivia's indicator score falls below the 25th percentile for the Western Hemisphere and 19.88 points below the regional average. The decline in Bolivia's business stability indicator results from a lack of efficiency in their business regulatory system and transparency of government policies. Bolivia's score has been consistently low since 2010, where the country's decade average reached 30.61 points, with the highest score in 2019 of 31.66 points.

In 2020, Bolivia's violence and security score was 45.09 points—a 10.94-point decline from the previous year. The country's score falls within the lower percentile for the Western Hemisphere and is one of the worst performers in violence and security across the region. The violence and security indicator for Bolivia varied throughout the decade—reaching its lowest score of 44.47 in 2016 and its highest of 63.68 in 2018.