Baker Institute event will explore controlling corruption in Latin America


Jeff Falk

Baker Institute event will explore controlling corruption in Latin America

HOUSTON – (Jan. 23, 2019) – Leading experts and government officials from across the Americas will gather at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy Jan. 31 to discuss corruption control in Latin America.

Keynote speaker Susan Rose-Ackerman, the Henry R. Luce Professor Emeritus of Jurisprudence at Yale University, and panelists will examine how corruption significantly affects the United States’ neighboring Latin American countries and explore some of the solutions available to advance public sector integrity in the region.

The conference, hosted by the Baker Institute’s Latin America Initiative and Mexico Center, is free and open to the public. Registration is required at

Who: Panelists and moderators including Louise Shelley, the Omer L. and Nancy Hirst Professor of Public Policy and University Professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government; Daniel Nielson, professor of political science at Brigham Young University; Samuel Rotta Castilla, executive director of Transparency International’s Proetica Peru; Paulo Roberto Galvão de Carvalho, federal prosecutor in Brazil; Thelma Aldana, former attorney general of Guatemala; Matthew Stephenson, the Eli Goldstein Professor of Law at Harvard Law School; Benjamin Fuentes-Castro, technical secretary to the auditor general of Mexico; Claudio González, co-founder and president of Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad; Jacqueline Peschard, professor at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México; and Michael Johnston, the Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science Emeritus at Colgate University and distinguished professor at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Austria.

What: A conference titled “A Worthy Mission: Controlling Corruption in Latin America.”

When: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2-6 p.m.

Where: Rice University, James A. Baker III Hall, Doré Commons, 6100 Main St.

Elections in Latin America are freer and fairer than they used to be and, with rare exceptions, political power in Latin American countries is no longer monopolized by a single individual, military junta or political party, conference organizers said. From Chile to Mexico, legal reforms have promoted higher levels of government transparency and citizen participation.

But in spite of these improvements, the region continues to grapple with systemic corruption. Scandals such as Lava Jato (“Operation Car Wash”) in Brazil, La Estafa Maestra (“The Master Fraud”) in Mexico and La Línea (“The Line”) in Guatemala have made corruption a geopolitical priority. This emphasis is likely also driven by people’s direct experiences with corrupt officials; compared with 2008, in 2016, more residents in the region reported being asked for a bribe by a government official, organizers said.

A live webcast of the event will be available at

Members of the news media who want to attend should RSVP to Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at or 713-348-6775.

For a map of Rice University’s campus with parking information, go to Media should park in the Central Campus Garage (underground).


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Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at or on the institute’s blog,

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.