Although there is no single definition of the word ‘corruption’, at the Anti-Corruption Institute we define it as ‘the act of taking advantage of the position of authority held by a person or group of people for the undue benefit for themselves or a third party’. This means that someone’s position of power is exploited to secure certain privileged advantages by abusing their access to facts, opportunities or any other condition.

Corruption is almost always referred to in relation to politics, however although this is undoubtedly a world where this crime is particularly prevalent, corruption is not a uniquely politic problem and can also occur in other orbits. Corruption can even occur during the day-to-day lives of members of the public: from the pre-meditated and therefore ‘malacious’ act of queue jumping by sneaking in, to being a participant in money laundering schemes.

Therefore, what we can say for sure is that there are different types of corruption, or at least different ways of being corrupt. Some academics have classified corruption from different perspectives; among the many definitions is systemic corruption.

Unfortunately, corruption in Colombia has today become one of the main protagonists in the country’s media agenda. More and more, both in terms of quantity and frequency, we are confronted by news stories where both the private and public sectors have been involved in major corruption scandals. This phenomenon seems utterly interminable, and although for many it may now have become normalized and somehow immune to justice, at the Anti-Corruption Institute, we will continue to fight.

What does corruption mean to you?