The Chilean government on Friday said it signed a $100 million loan agreement with the Inter-American Development to help the South American nation fight corruption and improve transparency in both the public and private sectors. The loan is the second the bank has received in the last year aimed at helping reduce illegal activities. In December the IADB lent Chile $130 million for this purpose. "The support the IADB is giving us for the implementation of the Integrity and Transparency Agenda allows us to quickly advance this raft of initiatives that we need as a country to separate business from politics," Finance Minister Rodrigo Valdes said in a statement. Chile's business and political elite has been shaken by a number of wide-ranging corruption scandals in the past two years that have seen high-profile politicians sent to jail. Many of the scandals involve illegally concealed political donations from companies in sectors ranging from mining to fishing, though they have also involved tax crimes and far-reaching collusion schemes. Those scandals have in turn weighed on the popularity of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, whose approval ratings are currently lingering in the teens, down from around 54 percent when she took office in March 2014. She previously served as president from 2006 to 2010.
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February 14, 2017