• 12 March 2020

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    Las mujeres de Myanmar de la nueva generación están decididas a ascender

    Entrevistamos a Diana Achard, asesora superior de la Policía Comunitaria en el Proyecto de apoyo a la reforma de la policía de Myanmar, MYPOL

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    Diana Achard es una de las tres mujeres con mayor rango en la Policía de Myanmar y trabaja en el proyecto Apoyo a la Reforma de la Policía de Myanmar. El proyecto está gestionado por la FIIAPP y financiado por la Unión Europea.

    Achard se unió a la academia de policía en 1984 y fue asignada a la policía de Taunggy en 1985, antes de trasladarse al área de narcóticos. Allí, Achard estaba a cargo del trabajo doméstico y administrativo, pero rápidamente asumió tareas como agente encubierta.

    En 1994 fue transferida al sur de Shan, a un área conocida como ‘triángulo dorado’ debido al tráfico de drogas. Durante esta etapa fue nombrada líder del equipo de narcóticos para el sur de Shan.

    En 2008, fue ascendida a capitán gracias a su excelente historial y a grandes incautaciones de drogas realizadas bajo su mando. Durante este año se unió al equipo de investigación de narcóticos y financieros de Yangon (NTI). En el NTI colaboró ​​con todas las agencias bilaterales (Australian, ASEAN, India) en el intercambio de información y participó en grandes operaciones.

    Ya en 2012, Achard fue ascendida gracias a un impresionante historial de incautaciones y fue trasladada a la División de Relaciones Internacionales dentro de la División de Estupefacientes.

    En 2017 fue nombrada teniente coronel y se trasladó a la División de Delitos Transnacionales (DTOC, sede en Napyitaw), una unidad que incluye 110 subdepartamentos, entre ellos, narcóticos, delitos cibernéticos, trata de personas, delitos ambientales y parte del departamento de investigación criminal.

    Achard representó a las Fuerzas Policiales de Myanmar (MPF, por sus siglas en inglés) y a Myanmar en todos los asuntos relacionados con los narcóticos.

    ¿Cómo era ser mujer al principio?

    Casi desde el principio tuve que asumir tareas de agente encubierta y el manejo de informaciones y confidentes ya que solo éramos dos mujeres en la unidad. Cuando salí del MPF en 2018, en la División de Delitos Transnacionales (DTOC) había 12 mujeres, pero principalmente asignadas a tareas de administración y secretaría.

    ¿Se ha enfrentado a desafíos y obstáculos para ser reconocida por su trabajo?

    Para cada oficial de policía, la promoción es difícil de lograr, pero es especialmente difícil para las mujeres oficiales. Yo estuve siete años como teniente a pesar de haber hecho grandes incautaciones de drogas porque era mujer.

    ¿Qué puede aportar una mujer al MPF?

    Desde mi perspectiva en narcóticos, obtener información confiable es crucial y los civiles o informantes confían mucho más en las mujeres que en los hombres. Además, antes también era raro ver mujeres en operaciones encubiertas, por lo tanto, teníamos una ventaja adicional. Ahora es bastante más común. En general, diría que las mujeres son más persistentes en su trabajo y son más meticulosas y excelentes en las negociaciones y la mediación.

    ¿Cómo está evolucionando el MPF en términos de integración de género en el servicio policial?

    Bueno, cuando comencé en el 85 había un 2.2% de mujeres en la fuerza policial y ahora hay un 9.6%. Poco a poco, las mujeres van siendo reconocidas por su ventajas comparativas y habilidades.

    Ahora se nombran oficiales de investigación femeninas en la mayoría de los municipios de Yangon para ser el punto focal de los delitos relacionados con mujeres y niños. También hay muchas mujeres a cargo de la mediación, negociación y recopilación de datos de inteligencia.

    En general, diría que las mujeres son más educadas y están mejor equipadas, ya que los requisitos de ingreso son más rigurosos (se necesita al menos un título de 2 años). Por otro lado, las mujeres en la policía también tienen más oportunidades de integrar ramas policiales no tradicionales.

    ¿Cuál es la principal barrera para las mujeres en el MPF?

    El acceso a roles dominantes; no importa cuán capaz seas, esto sigue siendo prerrogativa de los hombres.

     ¿Cómo ve el futuro de las mujeres en el MPF?

    Dado que las mujeres tienen que elegir entre tener una vida matrimonial o el MPF, dudo que la situación evolucione a corto plazo. Sin embargo, puede haber alguna esperanza en el futuro. Aunque es un proceso lento, en Myanmar, las mujeres de la nueva generación están decididas a ascender.

  • 30 January 2020

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    Posteado en : Reportage

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    “Education is one of the most important things in the life of any human being”

    With the 2030 Agenda in mind, the FIIAPP manages European cooperation projects in Algeria and Morocco to improve the educational systems of both countries

    When Albert Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957, he wrote a letter of thanks to one of his primary school teachers. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened, wrote one of the most significant writers of the twentieth century. Albert Camus was born into a humble family of French settlers in Algeria.  His mother was almost illiterate and his father died during World War I when he was little. However, despite the poor little child that he was (his words), his teacher, a man named Louis Garmain, made sure to guarantee Camus’s right to education. A right to which millions of minors do not have access.  

    According to UNESCO, there are more than 260 million children in the world who do not attend school and 617 million children and adolescents who cannot read. We can unequivocally affirm that there are not enough Garmains to remedy this. But it is necessary to mention that there are public institutions, agreements, the will of countries and international cooperation. And, fortunately, guaranteeing inclusive, equitable and quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities is one of the sustainable development goals that the international community has set out in the 2030 Agenda and to which the work of the FIIAPP Contributes actively.  

    The FIIAPP and education 

    Aware of the value of education in ensuring the sustainability, peace and development of societies, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 24 January International Education Day. Committed to this reality, the FIIAPP manages several projects funded by the European Union that work in Algeria and Morocco in this dimension.  

    “Of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals signed in 2015 in the 2030 Agenda, number four is the quality of education and I think it’s the most important one because all the others in one way or another depend on it for solving poverty in the world, achieving peace and bringing about the well-being of all the inhabitants of this planet,” explains Pilar Garcés, vice-minister of universities and research of Castilla y León and head of the two twinning projects financed by the Union European, and managed by the FIIAPP in Algeria and Morocco. 

    The FIIAPP in Algeria  

    Professor at the University of Valladolid, Antonio Bueno coordinates a project managed by the FIIAPP in Algeria in  support of the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research. Bueno works hand in hand with the professor of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research of Algeria, Amina Benbernou, to improve Algeria’s academic potential. “The aim is to reinforce the teaching skills of teachers in research and improve the administration’s management skills,” says Benbernou. 

    A twinning between Spain and Algeria is established for this purpose, through which various specialists travel to Algeria to work alongside the Algerian institutions. Efforts focus on improving the governance of higher education institutions, in line with the standards of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area. In this way, the project provides the necessary tools to improve higher education in Algeria.  

    For Bueno, “Sharing educational ideas is based on the reality that all citizens who receive them have the same rights and duties and are called to the same mission: that of the progress of humanity.”  Through this project, Spain brings the work of highly qualified professionals to Algeria.  Spain is well positioned at the level of pedagogy and monitoring in digital education and synergy. The contribution it can make to Algeria is to support this topic with high-level specialists,” says the Algerian professor.  

    The project is funded by the European Union, and has the participation of specialists from the Agency for the Quality of the University System of Castilla y León (ACSUCYL).  

    According to Bueno, the fact that international cooperation allocates resources to education is very significant for societies: Education is surely one of the areas in which cooperation offers the best results in the short, medium and long term, and although wealth may not be immediately perceived, the truth is that it produces it in abundance.” 

    The FIIAPP in Morocco 

    Improving university education in Morocco. With this objective, the FIIAPP manages a twinning project with Morocco. Higher education has its shortcomings, there are many more private than public universities, which can lead to a kind of “decompensation” and produces a certain inequality among the population,” says the head of the project and Deputy Minister for Universities and Research of Castilla y León, Pilar Garcés.  

    Through the work of specialists, the project not only promotes improvement in educational organisation, management and legislation, but also explores solutions to the problem of overpopulation in the Moroccan higher education system. There should be more infrastructure to be able to have a really important and strong higher public education,” says Garcés. 

    Therefore, specialists from the Junta de Castilla y León work with their Moroccan counterparts on introducing techniques, methods and tools that serve to support the higher education system in Morocco. Among the objectives of the project financed by the European Union is the implementation of an ECTS system to assess qualifications, and the accompaniment in the development of a new national strategy in this area. 

    For Garcés, “education is one of the most important issues in the life of any human being, because it provides social peace and well-being and enables people to get out of poverty, or reduces violence.” Therefore she agrees with Bueno and very much appreciates the European and Spanish institutions’ financing and development of cooperation and twinning projects: “I think it’s a very important duty that governments should take it even more seriously than they are at the present time, because although it’s true that the economy is important for a country to progress, education is even more so,” she concludes.  

  • 19 December 2019

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    More ambition from COP25

    Alma Martín Pérez, a support technician in the EU-Cuba Exchange of Experiences programme to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency reflects on programme participation at COP25 and the results of the summit.

    The COP25 World Climate Summit expected more ambitious agreements on climate change neutrality by 2050. The frantic level of discussions and negotiations from the almost 200 countries participating in the summit relentlessly sought a last-minute consensus. Nonetheless, the CO2 emissions market and other relevant issues were postponed until Glasgow COP26, scheduled for November 2020.

    Over two weeks, representatives from countries, international organisations, institutions and civil society produced figures that testify to the urgent need for action: The oceans are receiving 13,000,000 tonnes of plastic annually, increasing acidification of the seas is affecting fishing and impacts on food security. Three quarters of the planet are under threat, over one million species are at risk of extinction, greenhouse gases have reached a new high. The next 50 years will see 250 million to 1 billion environmental refugees. The data is overwhelming. Commitments are needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid the temperature rising by over 1.5 degrees.

    Nonetheless, COP25 was not only about raising the alarm and the environmental emergency. It also offered spaces for awareness and dialogue to address environmental issues from a multi-disciplinary approach: biodiversity, gender, migration, town planning, industry, finance, technological development, etc. A wide range of topics to ensure that both specialists and the general public alike learn of the situation as it stands, without giving way to drama and pessimism, because there is still time to act.

    Accordingly, FIIAPP worked closely with the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, Cristina Gallach, helping to organise COP and promoting different activities, such as the panel on “Energy transition and economic investment opportunities in Cuba” in collaboration with the project coordinator Maite Jaramillo, Felice Zaccheo (European Commission Head of the Regional Programs Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean), Marlenis Águila (Director of Renewable Energies at the Cuban Ministry of Energy and Mines), Elaine Moreno (General Director of the National Energy Office in Cuba – ONURE), Ramsés Montes (Director of Energy Policy at ONURE) and Eric Sicart (Fira Barcelona). This event falls within the scope of the EU-Cuba Experience Exchange programme to promote renewable energy sources and energy efficiency, which is funded by the European Union and managed by FIIAPP. The main elements of the programme were highlighted at this event, along with the opportunities and challenges facing Cuba in developing renewable sources and using energy efficiently.

    Island countries are directly subject to the consequences of climate change and are aware of how strongly environmental protection is linked to sustainable economic and social development. Formed by specialists from MINEM and ONURE, the Cuban delegation invited to the COP used the panel to announce the country’s ambitious policy to substantially reduce the use of hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 by progressively increasing renewable energy sources and enhancing their use in the electric power generation matrix.

    Beyond the COP, the international community has begun to take steps towards ecological transition. However, the challenge is to do so in time and justly and fairly to prevent a worsening of existing inequalities. The responsibility for change requires public policies by countries, international and regional organisations aimed at decarbonising the economy, adapting the current system to the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.

    Even though the agreements reached at COP are not those envisaged, one thing has become evident in the course of the summit, namely, the interest of Spanish society in strengthening climatic action and in progressing towards CO2 emission neutrality. It is time to act and seek joint solutions.

  • 21 November 2019

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “Forensic science helps guarantee and improve the quality of police investigations”

    We interview Jesús Agudo Ordóñez, leader of the Twinning project “Forensic training towards advanced examination methods in Turkey” and expert adviser with the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Science, who talks to us about forensic science and what it contributes to this project being carried out in Turkey.

    What is the main objective of this Twinning project?

    The objective is to strengthen and improve the methods used in forensic laboratories in Turkey. To do this, arrangements have been made for Spanish forensic science specialists to collaborate with their Turkish colleagues.

    The Spanish forensic science specialists basically come from three sources: firstly, the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, occasionally joined by medical examiners from legal medicine institutes; secondly, the Criminology Laboratory of the Civil Guard, and lastly the Forensic Science Laboratory of the National Police.

    They’re all forensic science laboratories, one of them being civil, which is our laboratory belonging to the Ministry of Justice, and the other two, the National Police and Civil Guard laboratories, coming under the Ministry of the Interior.

    What do you think this project can bring to Turkey?

    This project will help Turkey above all to standardise the methods used in investigations in forensic laboratories. It’s true that Turkish forensic laboratory technicians have a very high level, probably comparable with most European countries. Perhaps the most important added value that Spanish experts can provide is precisely — and this is one of the aims of the project — that of making the techniques used in Turkish laboratories uniform and standardised and ensuring they are certified.

    What activities will be carried out to achieve these objectives?

    Forty activities are planned over two years. Practically every week there is some activity and some form of travel by the technicians of the institute or the laboratory of the Police or the Civil Guard. These technicians usually travel in pairs and we organise seminars and training cycles in Turkey, attended by Turkish technicians from the same field as the Spaniards sent there.

    At the National Institute of Toxicology we’re dedicated to forensic science from, shall we say, a human perspective. We don’t have engineers here, but all the specialists here are experts, graduates or postgraduates in biomedical sciences. Therefore, our activity is focused on the study of crime in general, including those crimes that have occurred and their effects at an organic level, at the level of tissues, in short at the level of people.

    The National Police and the Civil Guard also work in this field, but perhaps what makes them different from us is that they provide training on other, more police-specific sciences such as ballistics, sound and image engineering, voice recording and digital recording of crimes that don’t so much affect the person, the body or the human, but tend to be more technological, more “cyber”-related. So, there are training plans for all these areas.

    How does having specialised forensic experts help countries?

    Forensic science helps guarantee and improve the quality of police investigations for crime prevention and prosecution. Police sciences are fundamental; they are the backbone of society to maintain order and justice. Specifically, the National Institute of Toxicology belongs to the Ministry of Justice, and for a society to have the existence of order and justice at its core is fundamental for the development of interpersonal relationships and of all kinds of professional and business initiatives.

    Therefore ultimately what we’re talking about is ensuring countries’ prosperity and wealth and making sure their citizens feel safe in their dealings with one another and in initiating projects with economic impact that contribute to the enrichment and growth of their country.

    What added value does FIIAPP bring to the project?

    FIIAPP is a structural element of this cooperation, without whose involvement it would be very difficult to carry out this type of project. Ultimately what the people who take part in these projects contribute, both the beneficiaries, Turkey in this case, and the collaborators, Spain, is scientific know-how, in this case forensic science know-how. But it’s essential to have a body to perform organised administrative and economic tasks. So FIIAPP is the necessary body, the cement needed to make the project cohere. Without FIIAPP, projects would not have much future or make much sense.

    Do you think international cooperation is important for receiving knowledge and contributing it to other countries?

    For the peripheral countries of Europe, for countries that have applied for EU membership, for other countries that may not yet be eligible to apply or haven’t applied but are in its orbit, I think it’s very important because it’s about propagating the way of doing things we have in Europe.

    It’s a way that’s widely recognised in the field of forensic science and that is compared internationally with other areas of influence such as the US and Asia, and it’s important that countries close to Europe or looking to be part of it in the future start adopting these kinds of methods, getting used to working with quality criteria, standardisation of methods so that when the day comes for closer approximation or full membership, everything will be that much easier and the people working in those countries will have learnt how to work in the European context.

    Constant communication between the institutions of the member country, Spain, and the beneficiary country, Turkey, is important, with FIIAPP as a coordinator. It’s also important not to lose touch with the European Commission which is driving and funding this project. It would also be a good idea to maintain, as we have done on occasion, a close relationship with them to help solve those little things that may be small obstacles and try to improve day-to-day operation of the projects.

  • 07 March 2019

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    Posteado en : Opinion

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    Safer road transport of dangerous goods in Morocco

    Project coordinator Francisca Guzmán reflects on the importance of legislative adaptation to the country in this matter

    Morocco has a long history in the regulation of the carriage of dangerous goods by road. The country has been a signatory of the European Agreement concerning the international carriage of dangerous goods by road  (ADR) since 2001 and ten years later, in 2011, Law 30/05 was published that regulates the carriage of dangerous goods in the country. This establishes the framework for this mode of transport but refers local transport to the effective application of the international agreement.. Going a step further on this path, the FIIAPP now manages, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Works, a twinning project in Morocco that, funded by the European Union, is committed to safety in the carriage of dangerous goods by road based on the ADR.

     

    This project aims to improve safety and strengthen the structure and activities related to the carriage of dangerous goods by road, and its main objective is the preparation of the regulatory texts mentioned in Law 30/05.

     

    The necessary regulations for the application of ADR in domestic transport, adapted to the intrinsic characteristics of the country, have already been developed by the Spanish specialists participating in this project. The Moroccan Administration, after the legal wording of these texts has been adapted to the Moroccan legislative technique, will begin the administrative procedure for the approval and publication of the set of laws that will regulate not only the carriage of dangerous goods, but also all fields which concern and are affected by this carriage.

     

    The carriage of dangerous goods is multifaceted, meaning that many ministries, professional sectors and organisations are involved, hence the complexity of this twinning which, although it actually belongs to the Moroccan Ministry of Transport, affects and requires collaboration and cooperation by other ministries and agencies of the Moroccan administration. Hence the complexity, the difficulty and the captivating nature of the project, which concerns a large part of the administration of a country, numerous professional and economic sectors and, best of all, affects all citizens. We must not forget that the ultimate objective is to make the carriage of dangerous goods safer, since these goods are transported at all hours, every day. Suffice to mention the carriage of gas bottles, which is very common in this country.

     

    Therefore, taking into account the progress made with the project and aware of the difficulties entailed by legislative publications in all countries, we can confirm, without fear of error, that Morocco is at the starting point of the application of ADR in its territory, which will mean a very important added value for this country, and it will be the first country in this area to fully apply this agreement. This will help Morocco to become the first country in North Africa and the Atlantic façade to apply ADR to its internal transport, always adapted to the intrinsic characteristics of this territory.

     

    The international scope of the project has facilitated the introduction of the Moroccan administration into the international groups of the United Nations where the details of the ADR rules are discussed, approved and debated. This will give Morocco the opportunity to discuss, propose, and understand the situation of this mode of transport in the rest of the countries that have signed the ADR agreement. In addition, it will enable Morocco to achieve an important, prominent status in its regional area, in particular, with regard to North African countries and the Mediterranean basin.

     

    Thus, after effective application of the texts in Morocco, the country will be the leader of this type of transport in its region. All this will assist economic consolidation, consolidation of the road transport sector and, most of all, it will help to make transport safer, which will directly affect the citizens of this country, its infrastructures and the environment. Once again, cooperation will have provided a country with the necessary tools to drive economic and social development and good governance .

  • 16 August 2018

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    Posteado en : Entrevista

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    “Large-scale corruption requires a global response and cooperation”

    Delia Ferreira is President of the NGO Transparency International and in this interview, she tells us about some advances against corruption as well as challenges that are still pending

    How can we bring about a cultural change in our societies regarding the phenomenon of corruption, so that it stops being seen as a natural phenomenon?  

     

    The fact that corruption is normal is a central problem in our societies. Corruption appears when it is installed structurally as the normal way of doing business or to get aid or whatever you need from the State in the way of services. This is a problem that has to do with rebuilding certain agreements about the basic values of a society. For years these agreements have been broken as has the understanding about what was good and what was bad in societies.  Even if one analyses what the perception of a very small child is about what is fair or unfair, it is much clearer than the perception that this child is going to have when he (she) permeates social criteria over the years. We must work hard on education and discuss  again what is acceptable and what is not, because, when corruption becomes the norm, there is no longer an effective antidote, because in the fight against corruption the partner that we really need is a society that is mobilised, citizen by citizen, aware of what should be allowed and what should not.  Conditions must be created to promote or channel that social energy. 

     

    What are the challenges for international coordination in the fight against corruption from examples of global institutionalised corruption like the Lavo Jato case?  

     

    Large-scale corruption, like the Lava Jato case, poses different challenges for the justice system than the corruption cases seen previously, however big they were in monetary terms, because this is a global phenomenon and, therefore, requires a global response and cooperation, not only at the country level but also between all agencies.  This is one of the problems faced by the justice system when it wants to investigate these cases. Not only access to banking information, tax information, information on money laundering organisations, which should be made far easier for the judges and prosecutors who are investigating, but also the need for international cooperation. 

     

    This is why the procedural rules must be changed in many countries and the international conventions on fighting corruption must be altered, because we continue to face this type of problem in a situation in which money is moved from one country to another with a mouse click on a computer, in a matter of seconds, and it disappears off the radar.  Here, we are confronted with the same mechanisms for dealing with the government as we had in the 19th century: the judge prepares an official letter that goes to the government, the government sends it to the government of another country, which sends it to a judge, and that judge says that he lacks a detail and returns it, and months go by, if not years, before the information is obtained. Also, if the money moves from one country to another, or from one social structure to another, or to another fiscal paradise in a matter of seconds, it is impossible to follow its trail, which is essential for investigating corruption. 

     

    Recently , an Anti-Corruption Legal Aid Centre (ALAC) was inaugurated in Chile, with the support of EUROsociAL+ , a programme managed by FIIAPP. What is the value of this centre for allegations of corruption and how will it serve as a link between the State and citizens?  

     

    ALACs already exist in our chapters in over 60 countries. The idea behind these centres is to support victims of corruption or those who know of cases of corruption and want to report them and do not have the legal or judicial support needed to do so.  ALACs have allowed us to trigger allegations of corruption in many countries around the world, because it is no longer an individual citizen but an organisation that is linked with the Public Prosecution Service and can channel the complaints and follow them through. 

     

    In many of these countries what we have are agreements with their bar associations that allow us to have top-level legal advice from lawyers who work on the cases pro bono and provide, through ALACs, contact with those who want to go to court and do not know how.  Also, these ALAC centres have provided us with a great deal of information on how corruption operates in the countries, direct, first-hand information that would have been difficult to gather otherwise, since corruption operates in total secrecy, receipts are not handed out for corruption except in exceptional cases in which a record was kept of the accounting, as happened with Odrebrecht, which had a section of the company devoted to these structured operations. 

     

    To what extent does corruption have different effects on women?  

     

    An important sector in which to find a gender difference is in relation to access to services and allowances that are linked to petty corruption. This is because women are responsible for care-giving tasks and, therefore, we are the visible face that is requesting the aid, because poverty has been feminised and the poorest sectors are those that need the cooperation of the State in the provision of those services. 

     

    Another factor that specifically punishes women, or does so in a more substantial manner, is the area of exchange currencies. In many petty corruption cases, sexual favours are demanded or they give rise to situations of harassment in which women are victims twice over.  

     

    The corruption barometer, which is one of International Transparency’s measuring tools, shows that in the region, areas of public policy like health, education and social plans are perceived as being the most corrupt or the most prone to corruption, and these are the areas clearly linked to care-giving tasks and requesting allowances.  So, corruption has a different effect on men and women. 

     

    The other two areas of the state in which different effects can be observed are the police and the courts. When the police and the courts are affected by corruption, the women who have to resort to them in cases of discrimination, domestic or gender violence, femicides, rape or harassment face the fact that, when they defend their rights in an area dominated by corruption, instead of finding protection and a guarantee of these rights, they end up being victims.