Contest to identify most symbolic cases of grand corruption reached millions of people
Transparency International on 10 February 2016 launched the sanctioning phase of its Unmask the Corrupt campaign in which the anti-corruption group asked the public to identify the world’s most symbolic cases of grand corruption.*
Because so many cases received a large number of votes, Transparency International has decided to pursue social sanctions against nine of the symbolic cases (listed below) of grand corruption.
The voting, the website and related social media engaged over 170,000 people and attracted tens of thousands of votes, spreading the word on grand corruption in a powerful way to new audiences.
Grand corruption is the abuse of high-level power that benefits the few at the expense of the many, and causes serious and widespread harm to individuals and society. It often goes unpunished.
During the voting phase Transparency International discovered fake registrations were cast by unknown parties in an attempt to manipulate the results of the vote.
Transparency International did everything possible to avoid vote manipulation. The efforts to change the voting results show the corrupt care about visibility and social sanctioning.
“Lying, cheating, stealing and fraud are the tools of the corrupt. We want to pursue sanctions against as many of these cases as possible. We cannot single out just one case, they all must be dealt with,” said Transparency International Chair José Ugaz.
The nine cases were chosen not only based on popular voting by the public but also because of their widespread impact on human rights, and on the need to highlight the less visible side of grand corruption, such as laws allowing anonymous companies and those who facilitate corrupt deals.
The new phase of the Unmask the Corrupt campaign will work with people around the world to apply social and political sanctions on these cases.
“It’s time for justice and for the people to show the power of the many,” Ugaz said. “We call on all of you who have supported the contest to sanction the corrupt and join us in our actions.”
The cases identified on UnmasktheCorrupt.org were picked from 383 submissions from the public. Some are political leaders or multi-national companies that have massively abused their power and severely harmed society.
Others, like the state of Delaware, serve as powerful symbols of how the corrupt are able to use anonymous companies to buy luxury yachts or real estate, or pay for lawyers to protect them.
Transparency International will organise social sanctioning against the following cases (in alphabetical order):
- Senator Felix Bautista of the Dominican Republic
- Zine Al Abidine Ben Ali, former President of Tunisia
- Delaware, US state that allows registration of anonymous companies
- Akhmad Kadyrov Foundation of Chechnya
- Systemic corruption of the government, authorities and institutions in Lebanon
- Ricardo Martinelli, former President of Panama, and his cronies
- Ukraine’s ex-President Viktor Yanukovych