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Nicaragua Country Profile
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Business Corruption in Nicaragua
In principle, Nicaragua has a well-developed legislative framework criminalising acts of corruption. The country has signed the Dominican Republic-Central American Free Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA) that provides a framework for further market improvements and transparency; the DR-CAFTA requires each participating government to ensure that bribery affecting trade and investment is treated as a criminal offence. However, many of Nicaragua's anti-corruption initiatives have been ineffective due to the politicisation of the institutions in charge of implementing and enforcing them. 
Corruption has thrived in Nicaragua politics for decades, and the government still faces challenges in curbing this phenomenon. A study, cited in the Bertelsmann Foundation 2014, shows that 93% of the surveyed businesspeople working in Nicaragua consider corruption an obstacle for doing business; the businesspeople suggest that corruption includes not only facilitation payments paid to the authorities when carrying out commercial activities but also the government's favouritism towards certain economic groups. Companies should be prepared to deal with corruption when interacting with the registry and permit services, for example, when applying for construction and operating permits and when obtaining access to public utilities such as electricity, water and telephone connections. Investors cite arbitrariness and discrimination in taxation and customs procedures, as well as a lack of professionally trained tax and customs officials, as major business constraints.
Detailed descriptions of the levels of corruption in a number of sectors are outlined in the profile's Corruption Levels. For a more detailed analysis of the Nicaraguan government, media and civil society's anti-corruption activities, visit Public Anti-Corruption Initiatives and Private Anti-Corruption Initiatives.  
Nicaragua Corruption News
EFE:
'Los comicios en los que fue reelegido Ortega no fueron justos ni honestos, según una ONG', 21 Nov. 2011
BBC:
'Nicaragua opposition candidate calls Ortega win 'fraud'', 07 Nov. 2011
El Nuevo Diario:
'Incredulidad ante el ‘milagro cafetalero’ de Roberto Rivas ', 6 Oct. 2011
EFE:
'Grupo de observación dice que vigilará los comicios en Nicaragua sin acreditación', 13 Sep. 2011
 
Publication date: March 2014
Data verified by GAN Integrity Solutions 
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