One of the social phenomena that most affect practically all countries worldwide and at all levels of society is corruption . In simple terms, we can say that corruption is the way it is a way of acting of the human being that alters the properties of things in a negative way , in other words, they produce the loss of the essence of an object or of value.

What is corruption?

Corruption is an act that implies the action and the effect of corrupting something, a process that occurs deliberately and that produces an alteration in the order , in the ethics and in the benefits of human beings. They are illegal actions that can be produced consciously or by obligation of second parties.

  • What is corruption?
  • Source
  • History
  • features
  • Types of corruption
  • Causes
  • Consequences
  • Examples of corruption

What is corruption?

To understand the concept well, it is important to know that the word corruption comes from the Latin language ” corruptio “, which is composed of two words, the first “with” which means ” together “, the suffix ” io ” which means ” action and effect ”and the word“ rumpere ”which means“ to break ”.

It can be defined as the abuse that occurs in the power with the aim to obtain benefits of such private . It is a process that implies the action and the effect of corrupting something, a situation that can cause serious damage to trust , that hinders personal development and that of society as such, and that, when it occurs in governments, can weaken systems considerably democratic , producing great social division, increasing poverty and inequality and even causing environmental crises.


The origin of corruption dates back to very ancient times, experts even consider that corruption was born since man inhabits the earth. It is an ancient evil that according to historians was born in the reign of Ramses IX , in Egypt .


The history of corruption goes back to very ancient times when men began to carry out activities outside the legal framework in order to obtain greater benefits. According to experts, it was not a phenomenon that spread from country to country because corruption has existed in all human beings since time immemorial. With the creation of governments and state institutions , the problem has increased considerably, damaging societies and their inhabitants.


The corruption is a situation that tends to occur in the shadows, often with the help of professionals such as bankers, lawyers, accountants, financial systems little transparent and societies fictitious anonymous allowing plans corruption flourish and corrupt hide their wealth illicit. Some of the main characteristics of corruption are mentioned below:

  • It is a term that is closely related to power within the world of politics and illicit enrichment .
  • It can be presented in any type of social environment where hierarchies are present.
  • Corruption can involve everyone: politicians , officials of the government , civil servants , businessmen and citizens .
  • There is an abuse of power which is expressed with the use of opportunities in public or private positions with the aim of obtaining greater group or individual benefits.
  • There is a lack and a weakening of institutional procedures and mechanisms.
  • The legal frameworks tend to weaken.
  • Corruption is a phenomenon that adapts to different contexts and fluctuating circumstances . It can be developed in response to changes in standards, legislation, and even technology.

Types of corruption

There are several types of corruption, which are mentioned and explained below.

  • Large-scale corruption : occurs in illegal acts at the highest levels of government . This includes problems related to the distortion of State policies and functions .
  • Minor corruption : it occurs when various types of abuse occur on a daily basis in officials who belong to the lowest and middle ranks of power when they act together with ordinary citizens . The main purpose of people who commit this type of corruption is to gain access to basic goods and services more quickly and easily without having to wait.
  • Political corruption : refers to acts of corruption carried out by officials and public authorities who have the ability to abuse power to cause the misuse of financial and human resources to which they may have access, putting their interests first. personal and those of their relatives.


One of the main causes for corruption to appear in societies is that they see the phenomenon as part of the culture , this because with the passage of time, behaviors and behaviors typical of a corrupt society have been established which are manifested in continuously in society, and that makes corruption practically seen as a normal part of daily life.

Another cause for corruption to occur in a place is impunity or the lack of adequate anti-corruption legislation . Although in most of its countries corruption can be punished, there are still some systems that are not punished by law, this means that the culture of ” anything goes ” is applied in many places.

When inequality in developing countries is strongest and when wealth is unevenly distributed, poverty and corruption increase . Furthermore, when public institutions function inadequately, when administrative processes are slow and incorrect, and when there are no transparent laws, corruption is present.

Finally, the lack of ethical values in the inhabitants make social behaviors inappropriate and when there is not a good and solid education, negative effects are produced in society, producing problems of corruption . The lack of education or its inefficiency makes citizens not ethically ready to be able to serve the country but rather, to use the country.


There are many consequences that can appear as secondary effects of corruption in countries. Among the most important of them we can find the following:

  • Economic losses and inefficiency in institutions.
  • Poverty and lack of equality of conditions among the inhabitants of a place.
  • Malfunction of the public and private sectors.
  • Manipulated economic and political systems that tend to fall under the labels of political cronyism, capitalism , political party cartels, oligarchy , plutocracy, and even kleptocracy.
  • Impunity and partial justice that occurs when corruption invades the justice system. In this case, people cannot count on prosecutors and judges to do their job correctly.
  • Formation of organized crime and terrorism groups because when there is corruption, mainly in public and political officials, bribes and political favors begin to be presented, which in turn increase the levels of violence, illegal drugs, prostitution, sexual slavery , kidnapping and intimidation.
  • Increase in polarization and discontent in the population.
  • The state capacity is decreased considerably.
  • Violation of human rights .
  • Creation of armed conflicts and atrocious crimes against humanity.
  • Public frustration .

Examples of corruption

Some examples of corruption are as follows:

  • Offering money through bribes to obtain some kind of profit, for example, when a driver tries to give money to a traffic officer to avoid a fine.
  • The diversion of the economic resources that have been previously destined for a project of interest.
  • Illicit enrichment through the removal of other people’s resources.
  • When the abuse of power occurs and this causes the use of roles in order to obtain benefits.

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