Duarte: the most corrupt? Duarte: the most corrupt?

Duarte nominated for Guinness record

Fugitive ex-governor of Veracruz proposed as most corrupt person in the world

Breaking Guinness records is a popular sport among many Mexicans but the latest bid is a little different: former Veracruz governor Javier Duarte has been nominated as the most corrupt person in the world.


Ernesto Villanueva, a researcher at the National Anti-corruption Organization, proposed the nomination, comparing Duarte’s corruption to that of the former leaders of Zaire and Senegal.

“I say this seriously, it’s no joke. Javier Duarte has been proposed . . . as the most corrupt person in the world,” he told a press conference.

Villanueva believes Duarte’s win is all but certain due to his having left the state of Veracruz on the brink of bankruptcy.

Duarte is currently being sought by the Mexican authorities for illegal enrichment and organized crime. The state’s debt increased by almost 1.5 billion pesos during his term as governor between 2010 and 2016.

Villanueva said Duarte’s behavior is far from being an anomaly: 10 other governors have been investigated for corruption and plundering US $15 billion since 2010.

The Guinness nomination has at least one critic.


The director of the Mexican Institute for Competitiveness (Imco) thinks it would be terrible if Duarte were to receive that title.

Max Kaiser said it might sound funny but questioned putting a Mexican leader on a par with the worst rulers in African history. “. . . if the prize is granted it will be terrible not only for Veracruz, but for Mexico as well.”

A Veracruz-based journalist disagreed with Kaiser, telling the newspaper El Financiero that citizens of the state already consider Duarte as the most disgraceful of their governors.

The people of Veracruz welcomed the news, said Alejandro Aguirre. “. . . anything that leads [Duarte] to the pyre, anything said about him that can be seen as punishment is well received” in Veracruz.

So far the Guinness World Records organization has made no official announcement about the corruption category, which does not appear on its website. The closest related category is the world’s most corrupt country. Somalia and North Korea shared that honor, winning the title in 2014.

Nonetheless, Villanueva said the official announcement will be made by the end of the month.

Source: El Financiero (sp), Sin Embargo (sp), Veracruzanos (sp)

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  • cooncats

    Imagine the good that $15 billion U.S. could have accomplished for this country.

  • jdwfinger

    the number 1, I bet the next 99 are also from Mexico

  • TioDon

    I don’t know; he has stiff competition from EVERY politician in Mexico…..

    • cooncats

      Exactly right Don. If you look at the broader figures for the cost of corruption, Mexican and International sources seems to agree it is about 5 percent of GNP. That translates to 100 billion U.S. on the 2 trillion U.S. Mexican GNP. Even more interesting, the drug cartels in this country only manage to take in something less than 10 billion per year. Clearly the narcos picked the wrong form of organized crime and they should have gone for careers in Mexican government.

      • Steve Galat

        I don’t think so: ‘Corruption Cost’ of 5% GNP is quite small potatoes when compared to the USA which has impoverished its middle class by over 70% while enriching entitled grandées and their cronies, lobbyists and bankers. Worse, if you add rip-offs and illegal ‘civil forfeitures’ by DEA, FBI and other complicit bureaus in its fraudulent “Drug War,” then the total mounts to over a trillion dollars. However – and to its credit – US corruption is subtle, nuanced, stealthy and with wond’rous impunity!

  • miabeach

    In Mexico when they everything goes wrong point the finger at an African. In Mexico Africans are the lower form of life. In Mexico there’s nothing worse than an African.

  • K. Chris C.

    Now corruption is amusing. Well, it could be if the amusement involved ropes and trees. The game of Corruption Pinata and Pin the Railroad Spike on the Corrupt Donkey.

    An American citizen, not US subject.

  • MortimerSnerd

    …almost seems as though they don’t really want to find him, a well known guy of that visibility, and on the lam, surely he couldn’t hide-out for long… all it would take is a ‘reward for information leading to the arrest….’ Heck and everyone knows what he looks like..cellphone calls, hotel, credit card use, airline tickets needing a passport…. you can’t just disappear wthout a trace…. unless of course you’ve pissed off some very nasty people, there are a few in Mexico… Maybe he has a few political skeletions hanging in his closet…

  • Commander Barkfeather

    Why couldn’t they just nab him when he comes to pick up the award?

  • Henry Wilson

    That just shows how little Guinness understands of how things work in mexico. Duarte was small fry compared to the whales who control everything in mexico, such as the Carlos Slm and the Televisa families.