Alfonso W. Quiroz


On his book Corrupt Circles: A History of Unbound Graft in Peru

Cover Interview of June 14, 2009


To document and write the history of corruption in Latin America and other developing parts of the world, there is still a lot of work ahead.
I hope for my book to contribute to the historical treatment of the persistent phenomenon of uncurbed corruption, a burden too heavy to carry by impoverished citizens.  The historical visualization of the problem and its negative consequences can help present endeavors to fight and control corruption.  A thorough anticorruption reform must include constitutional checks against it and an end to the customary tradition of impunity.  The stiff punishment applied by Peruvian courts to those who led the most recent frenzy of corruption in the 1990s is an auspicious start that could be, however, easily reverted.

Anyone who travels or engages in business in those parts of the world were corruption reaches high levels should be aware of the long history, enormous costs, and past efforts at curbing graft.  Most importantly, by learning from past anticorruption efforts, the citizens of countries flagellated by corruption will hopefully rise to the task of punishing and not condoning the corruption of “strong” governments that deceitfully appeal to popular support.

The danger of uncontrolled corruption also exists in developed countries were corruption has been historically curbed.  Corruption and its concomitant abuse of power could raise its ugly head at any moment if the walls that circumscribe it are not periodically reinforced.

© 2009 Alfonso Quiroz