The 8 worst countries on Transparency International's list

Nearly three quarters of the 178 countries in the annual Corruption Perceptions Index has a ranking below five, meaning that not just the following five countries have a corruption problem.

2. Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Sudan

Misha Japaridze/AP/File
Relatives of people wounded in the riots in Andijan, crowd against the gates of the city hospital, in this May 18, 2005 file photo.

These three nations tied for fourth-most corrupt. Like Sudan in North Africa, the former Soviet satellites of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan in Central Asia are also run by authoritarian governments.

Uzbekistan evicted the US military in 2005 after Washington and other Western governments called for an inquiry into the reported massacre of hundreds of civilians during a protest in the city of Andijan. Washington has recently sought to reengage the government to buttress its efforts in Afghanistan, with US Ambassador Richard Norland telling the Monitor that "engagement is getting us further both on Afghanistan and on human rights than efforts to sanction and isolate" Uzbekistan.

Corruption there remains rife, according to the US Department of State. "Lack of macroeconomic and structural reforms has exacerbated bureaucratic inefficiencies and contributed to widespread corruption," according to the 2010 Investment Climate Statement. Like its neighbor, "Turkmenistan has legislation to combat corruption, but the laws are not enforced and corruption is rampant," according to the Climate Statement. "The common assumption is that nearly any decision desired can be obtained for a price."

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