BRASILIA, June 14 (Reuters) - While corruption remains a severe problem in Latin America, regional executives believe it has abated slightly, thanks to more stringent corporate ethics rules and enforcement of anti-graft laws, according to a survey released on Thursday.
About 51 percent of respondents believed they had recently lost business to competitors who made illicit payments, the survey of 402 business leaders in Latin America found. That's down from 57 percent in a previous survey in 2008.
About 25 percent of respondents said anti-graft laws in their country were effective, up from 15 percent in 2008.
Chile and Uruguay were perceived to be the least corrupt of Latin American countries. Venezuela was seen as the most corrupt, followed by Bolivia, Argentina and Mexico. Brazil, the region's biggest economy, was roughly in the middle of the pack.