Recently, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has spearheaded a flurry of arrests targeting dissidents and critics of his regime, notably Judge María Lourdes Afiuni who in December issued a ruling that "irked" Chavez. To make matters worse, Judge Afuini was placed in a women's prison housing numerous inmates convicted by Afuini herself. A quote taken from the New York Times illustrates the depth of corrupt practices exercised by Chavez:
"The arrests have taken aim at some of Mr. Chávez’s most prominent critics
ahead of legislative elections in September that put control of the National
Assembly in play, and they illustrate Mr. Chávez’s attempts to tighten
control over institutions like the judiciary."
Taken from a "corruption" stanpoint, Chavez's use of his authority almost fully satisfies the commonly held definition of what political corruption is, which is the use of public or elected office for the purpose of private gain. Moreover, many students of political corruption have noted the necessity of political turnover (ie high levels of political competition through frequent and fair elections) and a strong, independent judiciary in eradicating a society of corruption. The arrests led by Chavez indicate his desire to supress both.