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Paraguay

Capital

Asunción

Territory

397,300km²

Population (2020)

7,132,530

GDP Total (2020)

35.3B USD

GDP Per Capita (2020)

4,950 USD

Icome Group

Upper middle income

Convention Implementation

60.7
In progress

Western Hemisphere Ranking

60.7

20th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

63.2

10th of 12 countries

Corruption Resilience

54.2
Moderately Resilient

Western Hemisphere Ranking

54.4

17th of 31 countries

South America Ranking

53.9

6th of 12 countries

Convention Implementation

Score by thematic sections and measures

Prevention

Core-deficient
39.8

Western Hemisphere 46.3

South America 47.3

Standards of Conduct

In progress
47.6

Western Hemisphere 42.8

South America 48.0

Enforcement of Standards of Conduct

In progress
62.5

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 58.7

Training of Public Officials

In progress
50

Western Hemisphere 36.8

South America 44.5

Asset and Conflicts of Interests Declarations

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 42.3

South America 45.8

Transparency in Government Contracting

Core-deficient
19.5

Western Hemisphere 33.1

South America 40.3

Elimination of Favorable Tax Treatment

In progress
53.1

Western Hemisphere 47.1

South America 49.2

Oversight Bodies

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 36.0

South America 37.6

Measures to Deter Domestic and Foreign Bribery

Core-deficient
33.5

Western Hemisphere 36.7

South America 40.6

Encouraging Participation by Civil Society

Core-deficient
28.9

Western Hemisphere 43.0

South America 52.8

Study of Other Prevention Measures

In progress
45.3

Western Hemisphere 44.9

South America 48.1

Criminalization and law enforcement

In progress
62.9

Western Hemisphere 61.1

South America 64.1

Protection of Those who Report Acts of Corruption

Core-deficient
14.8

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

Implemented
100

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
57.8

Western Hemisphere 55.8

South America 55.3

Active Public Bribery

In progress
57.8

Western Hemisphere 56.4

South America 55.3

Abuse of Functions

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 47.0

South America 48.4

Money Laundering

In progress
57.8

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

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 39.0

South America 34.4

Illicit Enrichment

In progress
50.7

Western Hemisphere 54.7

South America 59.2

Use of State Property

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 79.5

South America 85.5

Illicit Acquisition of a Benefit

Implemented
100

Western Hemisphere 52.1

South America 59.5

Public Embezzlement

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 77.6

South America 83.2

Passive Foreign Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 25.6

South America 22.0

Private Bribery

Not Implemented
0

Western Hemisphere 22.7

South America 26.4

Private Embezzlement

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 64.7

South America 70.4

Obstruction of Justice

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 71.4

South America 79.1

Liability of Legal Persons

In progress
68.7

Western Hemisphere 61.3

South America 60.6

Statute of Limitations

Implemented
82.8

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

Implemented
82.8

Western Hemisphere 70.3

South America 77.4

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Core-deficient
35.9

Western Hemisphere 72.2

South America 72.9

Asset Recovery

Implemented
85.9

Western Hemisphere 66.4

South America 68.4

International cooperation

In progress
71.1

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
62.5

Western Hemisphere 55.1

South America 55.3

Convention as Legal Basis for Extradition

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 47.5

South America 55.2

Automatic Application Without Treaty

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 52.7

South America 54.9

Prosecution Without Extradition

In progress
59.3

Western Hemisphere 57.2

South America 58.7

Custody

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 73.4

South America 70.1

Assistance

In progress
59.3

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
85.9

Western Hemisphere 75.9

South America 86.5

Responsibilities of Central Authorities

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 71.5

South America 74.9

Communication Between Central Authorities

Implemented
71.8

Western Hemisphere 67.3

South America 78.3

Special Investigative Techniques

Not Implemented
7.8

Western Hemisphere 56.9

South America 52.0

Technical Cooperation

In progress
57.8

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

Paraguay signed the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) on March 29, 1996, and ratified it on November 29, 1996. 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 June 1, 2005. Accordingly, Paraguay has undergone six rounds of review under MESICIC (of which only the first five were considered here, as the final report for the sixth round was only adopted on March 11, 2021), and one round of review under the UNCAC review mechanism.

Paraguay’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 60.8, the measures adopted place the country at the lower middle point of compliance with international norms, surrounded by Belize (58.1), Haiti (58.2), Venezuela (61.0), and Bolivia (62.7). Despite achieving higher success in regard to criminalization and international cooperation (as is the case throughout the region) half of all preventive measures are found to be in progress while half of all failing measures concern criminalization and law enforcement (including all the ones classified as unimplemented). Consequently, Paraguay’s efforts may be described as somewhat lacking across the range of measures related to prevention and criminalization, and only showing consistently positive results in the area of international cooperation.

The prevention of corruption is deficient but not completely lacking, classified as “core-deficient” by its average score and with half of its measures found deficient— transparency in government contracting (19.5), the systems for registering asset and conflict of interests declarations (28.9), the state of oversight bodies (28.9), initiatives to encourage the participation of civil society (28.9), and the actions to deter domestic and foreign bribery related to accounting regulations (33.6). Concerning government contracting, MESICIC identifies in its second round of review a number of issues which remained largely unaddressed by the time of its fourth round; among them, the report highlights the “the existence of two laws governing the civil service” and quotes the “chaotic situations where public servants are governed by one law or the other, depending on whether or not they brought an unconstitutionality action”. Regarding control mechanisms, the report also notes “an absence of provisions establishing sanctions for government servants and employees who fail to fulfill or infringe the provisions that govern the Government Procurement System.” All other measures within this section remain in progress, including significant ones such as the adoption of standards of conduct (47.7) and their enforcement (62.5), and the training of public officials (50.0), among others. Otherwise, no preventive measure within this section is classified as either implemented or unimplemented.

In terms of criminalization and law enforcement, Paraguay 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) (14.8) or sufficiently fostered the use of legal mechanisms to facilitate cooperation with law enforcement (e.g., plea bargain) (35.9). Moreover, significant measures remain fully unimplemented: the criminalization of abuse of functions, active and passive bribery of foreign officials, and bribery in the private sector. Other measures remain in progress. Despite these problems, over half of all the measures in this section are found to comply with Paraguay’s international commitments, resulting in an average section score of 62.9 (“in progress”).

Paraguay is found fully compliant in its commitments to establish jurisdiction over the offenses covered by the conventions, including those that have been committed inside its territory, committed by a national, or when the offender is present in its territory, among other required forms. The country also shows significant progress in its commitments regarding international cooperation, with an average section score of 71.1 and only one failing measure identified—the regulation and application of special investigative techniques such as electronic surveillance, undercover operations, and others (7.8).

Corruption Resilience

Score by indicator

Social Context

Moderately Resilient
61.3

Western Hemisphere 64.8

South America 64.2

Quality of Government

Moderately Resilient
52.7

Western Hemisphere 50.6

South America 52.4

Rule of Law

Vulnerable
41.8

Western Hemisphere 51.1

South America 50.7

Business Stability

Moderately Resilient
51.4

Western Hemisphere 50.5

South America 48.1

Violence & Security

Moderately Resilient
63.7

Western Hemisphere 55.0

South America 54.4

Corruption Resilience score over the time

Analysis

Paraguay's social context indicator for 2020 declined by 1.41 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 61.30, which exceeds the Western Hemisphere average (64.89) by 3.59 points. Throughout the decade, Paraguay's indicator score has varied, achieving its highest indicator score in 2019 with 62.71, and its lowest indicator score in 2012 with 59.30. Paraguay's social context indicator score for 2020 is mainly attributed to a consistent but partial respect for political rights and civil liberties. The country’s constitution guarantees freedom of speech; however, media outlets have faced challenges when investigating and reporting corruption, crime, or government criticisms. They have also encountered intimidation, harassment, and aggression from both public officials and criminal organizations. The country’s protections for civil liberties also fall short of safeguarding Paraguay’s indigenous population, which continues to face systemic discrimination.

With respect to the quality of governance and institutions, Paraguay’s 2020 score declined by 1.35 points from the previous year. Despite the decline, Paraguay's indicator score is slightly above the Western Hemisphere country average of 50.63 by 2.13 points. Paraguay's indicator score has varied throughout the decade, where the decade range is 51.50 to 55.68, 2014 to 2017, respectively. The country's quality of government indicator is primarily attributed to widespread corruption, inefficiencies in government and administration, and poor constraints on government powers.

In 2020, Paraguay's rule of law indicator declined by 1.41 points from the previous year. The country's indicator score is below the Western Hemisphere country average of 51.15 by 9.35 points. Throughout the decade, the country's score has varied, where Paraguay attained the highest indicator score in 2019 with 43.21 and its lowest indicator score in 2010 with 39.15. The country's rule of law indicator for 2020 is mainly impacted by an uneven application of the law and lack of judicial independence. On paper, the judiciary is independent, but in practice, the judiciary is highly susceptible to political pressure and organized crime, particularly those involved in drug trafficking and money laundering.

In terms of the country’s business stability indicator, Paraguay’s score decreased by 1.09 points from the previous year. Despite the decline in the country's indicator score, Paraguay exceeds the Western Hemisphere country average of 50.53 by 0.92 points. Throughout the decade, the country's indicator score has been wide-ranging, where it attained the highest indicator score in 2019 with 52.54 and the lowest indicator score in 2010 with 48.71. Paraguay's indicator score is largely attributed to corruption and issues associated with business freedom; however, the country does have an adequate regulatory system concerning their domestic private sector.

With regard to the country’s violence and security indicator, Paraguay’s 2020 score increased by 3.21 points from the previous year, resulting in a score of 63.70. The country's indicator score exceeds the Western Hemisphere average of 55.04 by 8.66 points for 2020. Since 2010, the country's score has experienced improvements, where the country had attained its highest indicator score in 2020 and its lowest score in 2011, with a range of 21.37. Paraguay's violence and security indicator score is primarily attributed to the serious problem of organized crime and criminal activities within the country, particularly in relation to drug trafficking.