The two most salient features on the face of the Peru economic boom are corruption and fat.

The Transparency International
is a world index of the corruption of nations you may choose to live or do business in. You may read about it, except between the lines, as Peru businessmen point out, that the index method is the perception of businessmen doing business in the countries. Among corrupt South America, Peru is rank middle-of-road but actually is the most corrupt country on the continent, if not the world. This is because nearly every businessman by default is corrupt in order to do business in Peru. Certainly they are not going to report that to TI.

A fun way to look at fat is on a calculator based on research pulled together by a research team at the London School of Hygiene. Using United Nations data on population size in the world´s nations together with estimates of global weight from WHO and mean height from International Health examinations, the calculator figures an average BMI (body mass index) for human fat. It so happens that Peru is in the midst of one of the largest economic booms due to relaxed foreign trade restrictions and increased gold price since the rubber boom bounced in early 1900s.

Today on the streets of Iquitos I see each person has gained 10 lbs. Under new polyester shirts in a rising middle class since my last visit four years ago. Where are you on the global corruption and fat scales?





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