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Former mayor of La Paz credited with tackling corruption

Juan Del Granado, the former mayor of La Paz, instituted sweeping protocols that enabled Bolivia’s capital to restore public trust. (REUTERS/DAVID MERCADO/LANDOV)

La Paz is best known as one of the world’s highest cities in elevation. But Bolivia’s capital has long had a dark side: rampant corruption. Nieves Zuniga and Paul Heywood report for Foreign Policy that former Mayor Juan Del Granado played an outsized role in helping La Paz confront the problem when elected in 1999. He served as mayor from 2000 to 2010.

“During his first two years in office, Del Granado established a zero-tolerance approach to graft,” the article says. The day after he took office, he was tested when a vendor tried to reward him with a kickback. The individual was immediately expelled. Three of Del Granado’s predecessors as mayor were prosecuted and imprisoned due to the crackdown, Zuniga and Heywood write.

In 2002, Del Granado crafted a sweeping policy designed to root out corruption, enhance transparency and strengthen public trust. In 2004, his administration created a Transparency Unit to investigate complaints. The unit was later expanded and replicated throughout Bolivia’s national government.

A key reason for Del Granado’s success was his emphasis on a comprehensive approach. By trimming bureaucracy, La Paz eliminated many opportunities for bribes and extortion.

Foreign Policy

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