Latin America Overview

Introduction

Challenging and combating corruption with international coordination

The Lava Jato (Operation Car Wash) scandal that began in Brazil, and its ensuing cross-border investigations that left virtually no country in the region untouched, sparked increased attention on Latin America. However, since the Lava Jato task force disbanded in February 2021 – a watershed some say ended with a ‘whimper’[2] – what has become of the anti-corruption narrative that permeated the region?

In a word, nothing at all. Students of Latin America’s political and economic evolution appreciate that the anti-corruption narrative made globally relevant by virtue of the Lava Jato scandal has not disappeared; it has only been transformed. Latin America has long been characterised as a region that harnesses popular interest in anti-corruption movements in addition to being an area where anti-corruption investigations are politically driven by enforcement regulators. The public response to corruption sparked the removal of Alberto Fujimori from the presidency in Peru in the early 2000s following multiple corruption scandals, and promoted the political victories of Jair Bolsonaro and Andrés Manuel López Obrador in Brazil and Mexico, respectively, in 2018. And still, in the past few years, anger about corruption accusations was a driving factor in elections in which voters ousted incumbents in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Colombia,[3] where Gustavo Petro, the country’s first leftist president and a known anti-corruption crusader, took office in August 2022. This momentum across the region only continued with the victory of left-leaning Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil in October 2022, who beat Jair Bolsonaro, the right-wing populist incumbent, with promises of cracking down on corruption.

Although Latin America’s ability to prevent or combat corruption remains a constant priority, it is fraught with obstacles, and enforcement efforts in Latin America wax and wane. There are continued struggles with the covid-19 crisis and economic issues such as inflation, compounded by Russia’s conflict with Ukraine, which have taken precedence over corruption reforms.[4] Certain governments in the region are relegating anti-corruption reforms to a lower priority, but the overall picture of Latin America in 2022 is one of resilience and relative stability following the setbacks of recent years. Some governments in the region continue the fight against corruption and are strengthening the institutions devoted to these efforts.[5] Moreover, anti-corruption efforts from the United States continue to infuse the region with additional investigative emphasis. The Biden administration has made fighting corruption at home and abroad a top security priority after releasing the US Strategy on Countering Corruption in December 2021. This strategy calls for increased coordination across agencies and jurisdictions to combat public corruption.[6] The Biden administration’s announced desire to collaborate with Latin American officials to address corruption signals that efforts to fortify international co-operation and enforcement in the region will continue in the years to come.[7]

In 2022, Brazil and Mexico, the region’s two largest countries, fell behind on anti-corruption efforts[8] whereas Ecuador’s enforcement actions are on the rise. Despite Brazil’s seeming deprioritisation of anti-corruption enforcement efforts, numerous lessons have emerged from Lava Jato. Of those, one stands out in particular: the transformative effect of effective international co-operation. As a result of Lava Jato and the resulting multi-jurisdictional coordination, Latin American authorities have cultivated a new-found appreciation of how to employ various tools and mechanisms of international co-operation. The ability of prosecutors and investigators across the region to respond to transnational corruption scandals also stems from their increased participation in multilateral initiatives.

This chapter analyses the international co-operation infrastructure that already exists across Latin American jurisdictions and discusses the evolution and efficacy of these frameworks. It also considers the origins of paradigm shifts in enforcement, and the successes and obstacles that anti-corruption authorities have encountered to date by providing snapshots of enforcement efforts in various Latin American jurisdictions. Finally, it highlights those areas of continued expansion in anti-corruption efforts across the region that signal what may be yet to come.

Mechanisms of international co-operation

Law enforcement authorities have several international co-operation tools at their disposal when conducting multi-jurisdictional corruption investigations. Countries in the region have increasingly supplemented bilateral co-operation activity with participation in multilateral efforts to root out corruption, including the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Anti-Bribery Convention, the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).[9] These efforts have intensified the fight against corruption and encompass innovative, expansive and informal means of collaboration, leading to an increase in direct relationships, regular information sharing and stronger enforcement networks across Latin America.

Formal anti-corruption co-operation instruments

Historically, Latin American law enforcement authorities have sought and provided mutual legal assistance (MLA) in anti-corruption matters through formal legal channels made available by bilateral treaties and other similar instruments. Cross-jurisdictional efforts started as early as 1996 with the IACAC, which required Member States to co-operate in extradition efforts and provide mutual assistance to prosecute corruption.[10]

Bilateral MLA treaties (MLATs) can be crucial to the success of multi-jurisdictional investigations. This is particularly so in the context of corruption crimes, which are often complex in nature and require sophisticated knowledge of both illicit financial flows and transactions to detect and combat criminality proactively. During the past two decades, Latin American jurisdictions have gradually constructed a network of formal agreements that enable their respective authorities to provide MLA. For example, Brazil has concluded bilateral MLATs with Colombia, Honduras, Mexico, Panama and Peru, and other jurisdictions outside Latin America.[11] Despite the initially slow evolution of MLATs in the region, their use has become essential since 2014 with a surge in anti-corruption enforcement actions as a result of major international corruption scandals.[12]

Memoranda of understanding

Partly in response to the UNCAC’s mandate for facilitating MLA, some Latin American countries are codifying their co-operation efforts through memoranda of understanding (MOUs). Owing to their ad hoc nature, MOUs streamline and simplify cross-border co-operation, allowing regulators to avoid lengthy and bureaucratic processes that often delay the process of MLA requests.[13] MOUs afford jurisdictions working with Latin American regulatory and administrative enforcement authorities an informal way of receiving assistance in the form of intelligence, procedural instructions and data collection prior to requesting MLA.[14]

In 2018, Colombia signed MOUs relating to international bribery with Argentina, Chile, El Salvador and Guatemala, and invited other countries, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Honduras, Uruguay and Nicaragua, to negotiate MOUs.[15] In 2017, Colombia’s Superintendency of Corporations, a regulatory body charged with investigating and sanctioning legal persons for acts of bribery, concluded an MOU with Peru for the purpose of investigating transnational corruption through bilateral exchanges of evidence in as close to real time as possible.[16] As a result, MOUs have emerged as tools in overcoming the difficulties of cross-border investigations and are further evidence of the ability of anti-corruption bodies in the region to adapt their activity to the evolving nature of transnational corruption.

Joint investigation teams

Joint investigation teams (JITs) allow law enforcement officials from multiple countries to carry out criminal investigations in multiple jurisdictions. Member States sign a formal agreement establishing a JIT’s purpose, duration and composition. JITs include investigators, prosecutors and occasionally judges led by the jurisdiction in which the majority of the investigative measures will take place, with seconded law enforcement officials from other countries. As with MOUs, JITs allow for greater speed than the traditional MLA process and have the added benefit of ensuring better coordination and quality of evidence as participating investigators from different countries work hand in hand.

JITs are still a novel concept in Latin American countries, and only time will tell whether the region’s anti-corruption authorities will fully appreciate their potential benefits.

Financial intelligence exchanges

The crime of corruption often accompanies money laundering and other types of financial misconduct. For this reason, bodies such as national financial intelligence units (FIUs) are essential for detecting money laundering activity and the predicate offence of bribery. FIUs are in a unique position to analyse, package and share complex financial information not only domestically, but also on an international level.

Latin American FIUs have become more active in fighting corruption. The inter-government anti-money laundering organisation known as the Financial Action Task Force has noted increases in requests and information exchanges between Latin American FIUs through various mechanisms. Regulators based in the United States, such as the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), regularly share financial information with their international counterparts. For example, FinCEN responds to requests from FIUs that are members of the Egmont Group, which includes FIUs in South America, Central America and the Caribbean.[17]

Comparing robustness of enforcement regimes and cross-border coordination

The level of co-operation by Latin American countries varies depending on the specific investigative and prosecutorial demands (e.g., wide-ranging scandals involving more than one jurisdiction, such as the Odebrecht investigation), as well as the commitment and operational infrastructure of law enforcement authorities. However, many Latin American countries practise very little international enforcement co-operation. Even when countries have agreed to MLATs or enacted specific legislation requiring international co-operation (such as Argentina, Chile and Mexico), they often lack adequate resources or procedural mechanisms to fulfil their commitments efficiently and effectively.

Even though the anti-corruption enforcement efforts in Latin America presented a relative stability in 2022, according to the 2022 Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, the perception is that these efforts were slowed down by the covid-19 crisis, as well as economic issues such as inflation and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine.[18] For example, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico registered drops in their respective CCC Index scores.[19] Still, countries such as Ecuador have managed to achieve dramatic improvements in their anti-corruption efforts.

Co-operation with US enforcement agencies has also continued throughout the covid-19 crisis, leading to noteworthy resolutions relating to the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Collaboration with US enforcement agencies is also likely to increase under the Biden administration. On 6 December 2021, the Biden administration launched the US Strategy on Countering Corruption with a strategic objective to bolster international partnerships.[20] It is reasonable, therefore, to expect anti-corruption efforts to expand across the region in the coming years.

Brazil

Brazil is the region’s leader in international co-operation efforts.[21] Domestic law enforcement entities have made significant progress in responding to MLA and information requests from foreign FIUs and other foreign counterparts. The high-profile Lava Jato investigation has undoubtedly afforded Brazil extensive opportunities for co-operation with foreign authorities. Brazil’s Federal Public Ministry (MPF) reported that, as at 21 January 2021, it had received 653 MLA requests from more than 40 countries and had sent 597 MLA requests to 58 countries in the context of Lava Jato.[22] As a result, Brazilian authorities have successfully frozen or seized approximately US$450 million located in overseas bank accounts.

Notably, however, the covid-19 pandemic created setbacks to Brazil’s anti-corruption efforts, particularly the relaxed public contracting requirements implemented to maintain profitability of businesses during the crisis.[23] In addition, appointments by President Bolsonaro to the Federal Police and the MPF, coupled with the budgetary constraints imposed on the Council for Financial Activities Control, led to a decrease in the perceived independence of Brazil’s anti-corruption agencies and chief prosecutor’s office.

The 2022 presidential election results offer little clarity about the future of the anti-corruption fight in Brazil. With the election of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (Lula) and his campaign commitments to combat corruption, supporters remain hopeful that the country’s anti-corruption institutions will regain the independence and strength they seemed to have lost during Jair Bolsonaro’s presidency. Lula has promised the re-establishment of anti-corruption institutions to prevent political manipulation.[24] However, Lula’s past incarceration for corruption by the very institutions he purports to reinvigorate casts an unsettling shadow over the future efficacy of those regulators’ efforts. As the transition unfolds, Lula’s administration may reveal more about whether Brazil’s new leadership will deliver progress in the fight against corruption in Brazil.

Brazil’s co-operation with US authorities has continued throughout the pandemic and has resulted in high-profile resolutions relating to bribery schemes in Brazil and other Latin American countries. These include the US$84 million settlement with Stericycle for bribes paid to foreign officials in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina;[25] Glencore’s US$1.1 billion settlement with the United States, the United Kingdom and Brazil for corrupt payments and price manipulation;[26] and Tenaris’s US$78 million settlement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to resolve FCPA charges in connection with a Brazilian subsidiary.[27] Anti-corruption co-operation efforts between Brazil and the United States are likely to deepen even more during the Biden administration.

Colombia

Colombia has taken concrete steps to enhance the capacity of its anti-corruption agency, the Superintendency of Corporations, to effectively engage in inter­national co-operation. From 2017 to 2019, the Superintendency signed two MLATs for direct information exchange in transnational bribery investigations with criminal law enforcement authorities in Peru (Public Ministry) and the United Kingdom (Serious Fraud Office), and reported ‘aggressively’ pursuing the establishment of similar agreements with as many countries as possible, prioritising those in Latin America.[28]

Colombian authorities have increasingly been able to keep up with criminality on a par with their cross-border counterparts. In 2021, the Colombian government confirmed receipt of US$100,000 transferred from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in recognition of Colombia assisting the United States in the investigation and conviction of Henry Carrillo Ramirez and his Colombian-based organisation for drug trafficking and money laundering.[29] This amount represented Colombia’s share of assets seized and forfeited from Carrillo’s criminal enterprise in accordance with an asset-sharing agreement between the two countries.[30]

Notwithstanding these positive indicators, like many of its neighbours, Colombia’s corruption risk has increased during the pandemic and appears to represent a setback in anti-corruption efforts. For instance, for several months there have been alarming allegations of high-level corruption in the armed forces. A military judge who is investigating former Army Commander General Eduardo Zapateiro for alleged mismanagement of public funds when he was a brigade commander is reported to be receiving threats.[31] Additionally, the 2022 CCC Index indicates that Colombia’s scores for independence of anti-corruption agencies have dropped as the independence of the Comptroller General and the Attorney General offices have been widely questioned.[32] In August 2022, Carlos Hernán Rodriguez was elected as the new Comptroller General, and critics further questioned the independence of the agency, given Hernán’s political affiliations with the newly elected President Gustavo Petro.

Argentina

Since 2019, Argentina has ramped up efforts to combat corruption and money laundering locally. Notably, the country approved a new Procedural Criminal Code in 2014 designed to expedite corruption investigations with improved rules and procedural tools, along with other regulations aimed at accelerating corruption-related investigations.[33] Since the introduction of corporate criminal liability in 2017, many high-profile companies and businessmen have been investigated.[34]

Nonetheless, owing to the long-standing lack of independence of the country’s anti-corruption agencies and the multiple corruption investigations into the former president and current vice president, Cristina Kirchner, Argentina’s fight against corruption remains halting.[35] Previously, though, there have been many US enforcement activities against corrupt acts in Argentina – including LATAM Airline Group’s 2016 settlement with the US SEC for improper payments to Argentinian union employees and the prosecution by the US DOJ in 2018 of a former executive of a subsidiary of Siemens AG for bribing Argentine government officials to secure contracts.[36]

Frequent well-attended anti-corruption protests suggest civil society’s mobilisation against corruption could be a central issue for Argentinians in the 2023 general election.[37]

Chile

Compared with many of its neighbours, Chile appears to have made recent and consistent inroads against corruption.[38] The country has historically outperformed in the region and continued to do so after the mass 2019 riots.[39] Since 2020, prominent cases of corruption have come to light in Chile, including the investigation into former president Sebastián Piñera, who was named in the Pandora Papers leak.[40] The head of the Chilean army, who resigned in 2022 following allegations of corruption, also faces the possibility of prosecution.[41] Furthermore, Chile has doggedly prosecuted public officials, private individuals and legal entities for acts of domestic and foreign bribery.[42] In September 2022, Chilean voters rejected a new proposed Constitution that envisioned a pension system handled by the state, greater land rights for indigenous groups and more stringent anti-corruption measures.[43] Nonetheless, experts have warned that the new Constitution, by enlarging the government’s role in the private sector and in the distribution of land, could have increased the risk of corruption.[44] These are the challenges faced by Chile’s youngest president, Gabriel Boric, a left-wing politician and anti-corruption advocate, as the country still wrestles with the nepotist heritage lingering from the Pinochet era.[45]

Although Chile has not enacted any law governing international co-operation, Chile’s anti-money laundering statute creates an FIU, which regularly shares financial intelligence with international counterparts.[46] Chile has also increased its international co-operation on foreign bribery issues, according to the OECD.[47] Since 2016, Chilean authorities have been co-operating with the US SEC to investigate illicit payments made by the Chilean-based chemical and mining conglomerate.[48] These types of collaborations are not sufficient, however, as Chile faces pressure from the OECD, Transparency International and the US government to enhance its resources and expertise in tackling foreign bribery.[49]

Mexico

Under the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement’s (USMCA) anti-corruption chapter on enforcement co-operation, signatories recognise the importance of co-operation, coordination and information exchanges among their respective anti-corruption law enforcement agencies. The USMCA also imposes enhanced anti-corruption requirements on signatory parties.[50] Mexico is also party to the UNCAC and the IACAC and boasts the largest number of international treaty agreements involving MLA.[51] Illustrating the country’s cross-border investigative efforts, Mexican authorities provided assistance in the US investigation of Stericycle, an international waste management company, into the bribery of foreign officials in their jurisdiction as part of a co-ordinated bribery resolution in April 2022.[52]

But even with Mexico’s existing frameworks and commitments, the number of meaningful cases in which Mexican enforcement officials have co-operated with international peers to crack down on cross-border corruption is limited.[53] In the Odebrecht investigations, Mexico has not pursued successfully any cases against key public officers, private individuals or corporate entities and has taken an arguably ‘lethargic’ approach.[54] Only in 2022 did Mexico’s attorney general formally charge Emilio Lozoya, the former chief executive of the state’s oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) with money laundering, criminal association and bribery. These charges relate to Lozoya’s role in requesting money in exchange for Odebrecht’s contributions to the presidential campaign of former President Enrique Peña Nieto.[55] As of August 2022, Mexico’s attorney general’s office is also investigating Peña Nieto for alleged money laundering, illicit enrichment and illegal international transfers.[56]

Overall, Mexico has engaged in large-scale legal and institutional reforms to enhance the fight against domestic bribery, but its continued lack of enforcement of foreign bribery offences and lack of robust whistleblower protections loom large.[57] In June 2022, the OECD Working Group on Bribery issued a press release indicating that it was ‘highly concerned’ that, nearly 20 years after Mexico joined the OECD, the country has yet to successfully conclude its first foreign bribery case. Cases are not moving past the investigation stage and the number of investigations is decreasing.[58] Moreover, the CCC Index found that the country has fallen behind its neighbours in assessing the efficiency and independence of anti-corruption agencies, which some observers say have been used for personal gain or for political motivations.[59]

Venezuela

According to every credible corruption index, Venezuela remains among the most corrupt nations on the planet.[60] Although Venezuelan law criminalises domestic bribery (not foreign bribery), anti-corruption measures remain weak, and government officials at the highest levels engage in corrupt practices with impunity – especially the country’s security and armed forces.[61] Most sectors of the economy suffer from endemic corruption as the regime under President Nicolas Maduro refuses to take effective action to prosecute corruption.[62] In fact, the country’s government routinely uses corruption as a pretext to harass and detain its political opponents, and this practice is facilitated by Venezuela’s subdued judiciary.[63]

For more than 15 years, the United States has imposed harsh economic sanctions on Venezuela and on hundreds of Venezuelans in response to human rights abuses, the lack of co-operation in international antiterrorism, and anti-democratic actions. US persons are prohibited from transacting with the Maduro government and, in 2019, Congress extended sanctions regarding corruption until 2023.[64] US enforcement activities targeting corruption in Venezuela have continued after the string of DOJ indictments stemming from the bribery scandal involving Petróleos de Venezuela SA, the state-controlled energy company, in 2018, and official recognition by the United States of Juan Guaidó as the country’s democratically elected interim president.[65] In 2022, the International Criminal Court announced that it will open an office in Caracas to pursue an investigation into the many human rights violations committed by Maduro’s government.[66]

Despite the efforts of the international community and the growing diversity of local online media outlets denouncing state corruption, the unpopular Maduro regime maintains de facto power in the country.[67] Absent a change in the political landscape, enhanced anti-corruption efforts are unlikely in Venezuela.

Peru

Among many other corruption-related offences, the Peruvian Penal Code criminalises domestic as well as foreign bribery and, more recently, facilitation payments.[68] Legal entities may also be held liable for certain corruption-related crimes since 2018.[69] Following a political crisis beginning in 2019 and mass anti-corruption demonstrations, government entities such as the National Justice Board (JNJ) have begun cracking down on corruption in the judiciary while former president Ollanta Humala is on trial for allegedly receiving illegal campaign financing.[70] The latest OECD report commends Peru’s efforts in fighting domestic corruption and, in the past two decades, Peru has introduced various initiatives on the international stage to alleviate the cycle of corruption that accompanied the 1990 administration under Alberto Fujimori.[71]

Despite widespread anger over accusations of corruption in 2019 – leading to Pedro Castillo’s presidency – Peru’s recent initiatives to tackle domestic corruption remain foreshadowed by common accusations of bribes and favouritism involving government officials. The country’s judicial system is replete with allegations of corruption and interference as prosecutors and judges have been accused of obstructing anti-corruption investigations.[72] More strikingly, like so many of his predecessors, Peru’s newest president faces mass protests demanding his resignation following an investigation into his role in a conspiracy involving bribery.[73] Castillo’s administration is also under pressure from the international community denouncing Peru’s ‘poor awareness’ of foreign bribery offences[74] and the growing US enforcement activities relating to corrupt acts implicating Peru.[75] Peru’s political instability will probably continue to thwart the country’s anti-corruption efforts, but Peru’s anticipated OECD membership could strengthen the nation’s integrity practices.[76]

Ecuador

Ecuador has seen a dramatic increase in its anti-corruption efforts in recent years. Amid growing popular demand for anti-corruption measures since 2019, the country’s newly elected government, led by Guillermo Lasso, has issued a number of decrees to restrict nepotism, including a judicial unit and a secretariat specialising in combating corruption.[77] The country’s citizens are also due to vote in 2023 on a consultation to reform the justice system in response to a surge in violent crime connected with increased drug-trafficking during the covid-19 pandemic.[78] Furthermore, Ecuador has expanded its anti-corruption co-operation efforts with its international counterparts, particularly the United States.[79] In 2020, Global Financial Integrity signed a co-operation agreement with Ecuador’s FIU,[80] and the US DOJ is prosecuting a remarkable number of Ecuador-related corruption cases with the help of local authorities.[81]

Nevertheless, Ecuador continues to suffer from endemic corruption in the public sector. In July 2021, a former comptroller general resigned following allegations of corruption relating to a state-run oil company, and Lasso – like former presidents – has been accused of engaging in corrupt acts after being named in the Pandora Papers leak.[82] Moreover, critics are sceptical of Ecuador’s recent initiatives, given that the new anti-corruption secretariat grants excessive powers to the executive branch and continues to face opposition in the National Assembly.[83] The year-end release of the Financial Action Task Force of Latin America’s final report is a much-anticipated read for those interested in monitoring the efficiency of Ecuador’s anti-corruption and anti-money laundering efforts.[84]

Conclusion

International co-operation has become a valuable enforcement tool in Latin America, with various formal and informal mechanisms available to facilitate it. Moreover, the continued evolution of anti-corruption legislative and enforcement initiatives is still showing promise. During the past two decades, Latin American countries have increased participation in multilateral initiatives designed to combat corruption and engaged the use of MLA, MOUs and JITs across several jurisdictions. These engagements often result in the adoption of established and successful international methods in investigating bribery and other forms of corruption.

Although countries in the region differ in the extent to which they implement the tools developed to address corruption – and some have experienced setbacks – the general trend of reliance is moving upwards. Latin American countries have the capacity and the tools to continue harnessing the anti-corruption energy fuelled by their citizenry and make use of international co-operation mechanisms to combat corruption. Ultimately, understanding the coordinative practices of Latin American jurisdictions facilitates the investigative process and helps with managing expectations throughout the life of an investigation.


Footnotes

[1] María González Calvet is a partner at Ropes & Gray LLP. Other contributors to this chapter include Ropes & Gray associates Krystal Vazquez, Karina Thomas and Brandon Jiha.

[2] ‘Brazil’s watershed “Lava Jato” corruption probe ends in a whimper’, Buenos Aires Times (8 February 2021), at https://www.batimes.com.ar/news/latin-america/brazils-watershed-lava-jato-corruption-probe-ends-with-a-whimper.phtml (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[3] Brendan O’Boyle, ‘Mexico, Brazil fall behind in anti-corruption efforts, ranking shows’, Reuters (22 June 2022), at https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexico-brazil-fall-behind-anti-corruption-efforts-ranking-shows-2022-06-22/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[4] ‘Assessing Latin America’s ability to detect, punish, and prevent corruption’, Control Risks, at https://www.controlrisks.com/campaigns/the-capacity-to-combat-corruption-index (last accessed 29 August 2022).

[5] id.

[6] Congressional Research Service, In Focus, ‘Anti-corruption Efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean’, (1 February 2022), at https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/IF12031.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[7] Héctor Silva Ávalos, ‘Biden and Central America’s Anti-Corruption Crusade’, InSight Crime (15 February 2021), at https://insightcrime.org/news/will-biden-spearhead-creation-anti-corruption-commission-central-america/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[8] id.

[9] Transparency International, ‘Strengthening Enforcement of the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention’, at https://www.transparency.org/en/projects/strengthening-enforcement-of-the-oecd-anti-bribery-convention-1# (last accessed 7 September 2022) (‘Despite some high-profile fines and prosecutions, our research shows that enforcement of foreign bribery laws among most OECD countries is shockingly low.’).

[10] Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (B-58), Articles XIII and XIV (held on 29 March 1996), Organization of American States (OAS), at www.oas.org/en/sla/dil/inter_american_treaties_B-58_against_Corruption.asp (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[11] Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Brazil), ‘International Legal Cooperation in Criminal Matters’ (29 August 2022) (in Portuguese), at https://www.justica.gov.br/sua-protecao/cooperacao-internacional/cooperacao-juridica-internacional-em-materia-penal/acordos-internacionais/acordos-bilaterais-1 (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[12] Congressional Research Services, ‘Combating Corruption in Latin America: Congressional Considerations’ (21 May 2019), at https://fas.org/sgp/crs/row/R45733.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[13] Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Anti-Corruption Initiative for Asia and the Pacific (2017), ‘Mutual Legal Assistance in Asia and the Pacific: Experiences in 31 Jurisdictions’, 33, at https://www.oecd.org/corruption/ADB-OECD-Mutual-Legal-Assistance-Corruption-2017.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[14] id.

[15] Superintendency of Corporations, ‘Strategic Planning Monitoring Fourth Quarter 2018’ (31 December 2018) (in Spanish), at https://www.supersociedades.gov.co/nuestra_entidad/Contratacion/Documents/2018/4-Seguimiento-2018-trimestre-IV.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[16] ‘Colombia y Perú contra soborno transnacional’, El Nuevo Siglo (23 September 2017), at www.elnuevosiglo.com.co/articulos/09-2017-colombia-y-peru-combatiran-soborno-transnacional (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[17] Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, ‘International Programs’, at https://www.fincen.gov/index.php/resources/international-programs (last accessed 7 September 2022).

[18] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index: Assessing Latin America’s ability to detect, punish and prevent corruption, 2022’, at https://www.as-coa.org/sites/default/files/inline-files/CCC_Report_2022_0.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[19] id.

[20] ‘United States Strategy on Countering Corruption’ (2021), at 18, at https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/12/United-States-Strategy-on-Countering-Corruption.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[21] OECD, ‘Brazil: Follow-up to the Phase 3 Report & Recommendations’ (2017), at https://www.oecd.org/corruption/anti-bribery/Brazil-Phase-3-Written-Follow-Up-Report-ENG.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[22] Brazil Federal Public Ministry, ‘Efeitos no Exterior (Cooperação ativa e passiva na Lava Jato)’, at www.mpf.mp.br/grandes-casos/lava-jato/efeitos-no-exterior (last accessed 7 September 2022).

[23] Antonio Carlos Vasconcellos Nóbrega and Vanessa Boechat, ‘The Effects of Covid-19 on Compliance Programmes in Brazil’, Global Investigations Review (13 October 2020), at https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/review/the-investigations-review-of-the-americas/2021/article/the-effects-of-covid-19-compliance-programmes-in-brazil (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[24] Lula’s Political Platform, ‘Guidelines for Brazil’s Reconstruction and Transformation Programme’ (in Portuguese) (6 November 2022), at https://divulgacandcontas.tse.jus.br/candidaturas/oficial/2022/BR/BR/544/candidatos/893498/5_1659820284477.pdf (last accessed 14 November 2022).

[25] US Department of Justice (DOJ), press release 22-401, ‘Stericycle Agrees to Pay Over $84 Million in Coordinated Foreign Bribery Resolution’ (20 April 2022), at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/stericycle-agrees-pay-over-84-million-coordinated-foreign-bribery-resolution (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[26] US DOJ, press release 22-554, ‘Glencore Entered Guilty Pleas to Foreign Bribery and Market Manipulation Schemes’ (24 May 2022), at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/glencore-entered-guilty-pleas-foreign-bribery-and-market-manipulation-schemes (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[27] US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), press release 2022-98, ‘SEC Charges Global Steel Pipe Manufacturer with Violating Foreign Corrupt Practices Act’ (2 June 2022), at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2022-98 (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[28] OECD Working Group on Bribery, ‘Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Phase 3 Report: Colombia’, at 52 (12 December 2019), at www.oecd.org/corruption/Colombia-Phase-3-Report-ENG.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[29] US Embassy in Colombia, press release, ‘Asset Sharing Agreement Bolsters U.S./Colombian Law Enforcement Cooperation and Takes the Profit Out of Crime’ (25 March 2021), at https://co.usembassy.gov/asset-sharing-agreement-bolsters-u-s-colombian-law-enforcement-cooperation-and-takes-the-profit-out-of-crime/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[30] id.

[31] Adam Isacson and Carolina Jiménez Sandoval, ‘How the Petro Government and Minister Iván Velásquez can Make Colombians Safer’, WOLA (3 August 2022), at https://www.wola.org/analysis/petro-government-minister-ivan-velasquez-colombians-safer/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[32] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, 2022’, op. cit. note 18.

[33] María Vanina Caniza, et al., ‘Argentina’ in The Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Review (The Law Reviews, 2021), at https://thelawreviews.co.uk/title/the-anti-bribery-and-anti-corruption-review/argentina (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[34] James Thomas and Ines Kagubare, ‘Argentina court keeps country’s enforcement efforts on track’, Global Investigations Review (12 January 2021), at https://globalinvestigationsreview.com/article/argentina-court-keeps-countrys-enforcement-efforts-track (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[35] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, 2022’, op. cit. note 18.

[36] US DOJ, press release 18-319, ‘Former Siemens Executive Pleads Guilty To Role in $100 Million Foreign Bribery Scheme’ (15 March 2018), at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-siemens-executive-pleads-guilty-role-100-million-foreign-bribery-scheme (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[37] ‘Anti-government protesters take to streets on Independence Day’, Buenos Aires Times (10 July 2022), at https://batimes.com.ar/news/argentina/anti-government-protesters-take-to-streets-on-independence-day.phtml (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[38] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, 2022’, op. cit. note 18.

[39] Fabian Cambero, ‘Polarized Chile marks anniversary of 2019 protests as election nears’, Reuters (19 October 2021), at https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/chile-braces-protests-crossroads-election-nears-2021-10-18/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[40] Brenda Medina and Malia Politzer, ‘Chilean President Sebastián Piñera to be criminally investigated due to Pandora Papers revelations’, International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (8 October 2021), at https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/chilean-president-sebastian-pinera-to-be-criminally-investigated-due-to-pandora-papers-revelations/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[41] ‘Chile’s Milicogate Scandal’, Corruption Tracker (9 November 2020), at https://corruption-tracker.org/case/chiles-milicogate-scandal (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[42] Jack Nicas, ‘Chile Says ‘No’ to Left-Leaning Constitution After 3 Years of Debate’, The New York Times (September 2022), at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/04/world/americas/chile-constitution-no.html (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[43] Eloise Barry, ‘Chile is Trying to Shed the Last Remnants of its Pinochet-Era Dictatorship,’ TIME (5 July 2022), at https://time.com/6193719/chile-constitution-reform-boric/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[44] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index: Assessing Latin America’s ability to detect, punish and prevent corruption amid COVID-19, 2020’, at 9, at https://www.as-coa.org/sites/default/files/archive/CCC_Report_2020_Updated.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[45] Natalia A Ramos Miranda and Alexander Villegas, ‘Gabriel Boric: From student protest leader to Chile’s youngest president’, Reuters (11 March 2022), at https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/gabriel-boric-student-protest-leader-chiles-youngest-president-2022-03-11/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[46] The Financial Action Task Force of Latin America, ‘Mutual Evaluation Report of the Republic of Chile’, (September 2021), https://www.uaf.cl/ArchivoEstatico/Mutual_Evaluation_Report_of_Chile.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[47] OECD, ‘Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Phase 4 Two-Year Follow-Up Report: Chile’ (2021), at 7–11, at https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/chile-phase-4-follow-up-report.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[48] US SEC, press release 2017-13, ‘Chemical and Mining Company in Chile Paying $30 Million to Resolve FCPA Cases’ (13 January 2017), at https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2017-13 (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[49] Transparency International, ‘Crisis in Chile: Zero Tolerance for Corruption is at Centre of the Solution’ (30 October 2019), at https://www.transparency.org/en/press/crisis-in-chile-zero-tolerance-for-corruption-is-at-centre-of-the-solution (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[50] United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), ‘Anticorruption – USMCA Chapter 27’ (2020), Article 27.3, at https://usmca.com/anticorruption-usmca-chapter-27/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[51] Extradición, Supreme Corte de Justicia de la Nación, at https://www.scjn.gob.mx/tratados-internacionales/caracter-especial/extradicion (last visited 26 August 2022); OECD, ‘Phase 3 Report on Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention in Mexico’ (October 2011), at 31, at https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/Mexicophase3reportEN.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[52] ‘Stericycle Agrees to Pay Over $84 Million in Coordinated Foreign Bribery Resolution’, op. cit. note 25.

[53] Luis Mancera de Arrigunaga and Juan Carlos Peraza López, ‘Bribery & Corruption Laws and Regulations 2022: Mexico’, Global Legal Insights, at https://www.globallegalinsights.com/practice-areas/bribery-and-corruption-laws-and-regulations/mexico (last visited 29 August 2022).

[54] Natalie Kitroeff and Oscar Lopez, ‘Will an Investigation of a Former Mexican President Lead to Charges?’, The New York Times (3 August 2022), at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/03/world/americas/enrique-pena-nieto-corruption-charges.html (last accessed 4 November 2022); Camilo Carranza, Seth Robbins and Chris Dalby, ‘Major Odebrecht Corruption Cases and Investigations in 2019’, InSight Crime (20 February 2019), at https://insightcrime.org/news/analysis/major-latam-odebrecht-corruption-cases-investigations-2019/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[55] Diego Oré, ‘Mexico attorney general seeks up to 39 years prison for ex-Pemex boss - sources’, Reuters (5 January 2022), at https://www.reuters.com/markets/commodities/mexico-attorney-general-seeks-up-39-years-prison-ex-pemex-boss-sources-2022-01-05/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[56] ‘Mexico probes former president Pena Nieto for money laundering, sources say’, Reuters (2 August 2022), https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/mexican-attorney-generals-office-investigating-former-president-pena-nieto-2022-08-02/ (last accessed 4 November 2022); Kitroeff and Lopez, ‘Will an Investigation of a Former Mexican President Lead to Charges?’, op. cit. note 54.

[57] OECD, ‘Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Phase 4 Two-Year Follow Up Report: Mexico’ (2021), at www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/mexico-phase-4-follow-up-report.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[58] OECD, ‘Mexico should urgently address long-standing concerns over foreign bribery enforcement and protect whistleblowers’ (24 June 2022), at https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/mexico-should-urgently-address-long-standing-concerns-over-foreign-bribery-enforcement-andprotect-whistleblower.htm (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[59] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, 2022’, op. cit. note 18, at 30.

[60] Transparency International, ‘Corruption Perceptions Index’ (2021), at https://www.transparency.org/en/cpi/2021/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[61] US DOJ, press release 20-340, ‘Nicolás Maduro Moros and 14 Current and Former Venezuelan Officials Charged with Narco-Terrorism, Corruption, Drug Trafficking and Other Criminal Charges’ (26 March 2020), at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/nicol-s-maduro-moros-and-14-current-and-former-venezuelan-officials-charged-narco-terrorism (last accessed 14 November 2022).

[62] id.

[63] US Department of State, ‘2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Venezuela’, at https://www.state.gov/reports/2021-country-reports-on-human-rights-practices/venezuela/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[64] Clare Ribando Seelke, ‘Venezuela: Overview of U.S. Sanctions’, Congressional Research Service (May 2022), at https://sgp.fas.org/crs/row/IF10715.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[65] US DOJ, press release 22-910, ‘Venezuelan Businessman Charged in Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme’ (24 August 2022), at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/venezuelan-businessman-charged-bribery-and-money-laundering-scheme (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[66] Al Jazeera, ‘ICC to open office in Venezuela to investigate rights abuses’ (1 April 2022), at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/4/1/icc-to-open-office-in-venezuela-to-investigate-rights-abuses (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[67] Moises Rendon and Arianna Kohan, ‘The Internet: Venezuela’s Lifeline’, Center for Strategic & International Studies (4 December 2019), at https://www.csis.org/analysis/internet-venezuelas-lifeline (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[68] José M Allemant, ‘Peru – Global bribery offenses guide’, DLA Piper (2022), at https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2019/09/bribery-offenses-guide/peru/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[69] ‘Law Regulating Liability Administrative of Legal Persons for the Crime of Bribery Transnational Assets’ (in Spanish), El Peruano (2018), at https://busquedas.elperuano.pe/normaslegales/ley-que-regula-la-responsabilidad-administrativa-de-las-pers-ley-n-30424-1370638-1/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[70] OECD, ‘Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Phase 2 Report: Peru’ (2021), at 39–42, at https://www.oecd.org/daf/anti-bribery/peru-phase-2-report.pdf (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[71] ibid., at 34–37.

[72] ‘Head of Peru’s judiciary resigns as thousands protest corruption scandal’, France24 (20 July 2018), at https://www.france24.com/en/20180720-peru-judiciary-rodriguez-hinostroza-resigns-vizcarra-protest-corruption-scandal (last accessed 14 November 2022).

[73] ‘Peruvian prosecutors question Castillo over alleged corruption’, Reuters (17 June 2022), at https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/peruvian-prosecutors-question-castillo-over-alleged-corruption-2022-06-17/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[74] OECD, ‘Implementing the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention – Phase 2 Report: Peru’, op. cit. note 70, at 5.

[75] US SEC, ‘SEC Enforcement Actions: FCPA Cases’ (2022), at https://www.sec.gov/enforce/sec-enforcement-actions-fcpa-cases (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[76] OECD, ‘The OECD and Peru: A mutually beneficial relationship’ (2022), at https://www.oecd.org/latin-america/countries/peru/#:~:text=On%2025%20January%202022%2C%20the,first%20requests%20for%20OECD%20membership (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[77] Ileana Ferrer Fonte, ‘Ecuador sets up anti-corruption secretariat’, Prensa Latina (4 May 2022), at https://www.plenglish.com/news/2022/05/04/ecuador-sets-up-an-anti-corruption-secretariat/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[78] Alexandra Valencia, ‘Ecuador to ask citizens to vote on justice reform - president’, Reuters (18 January 2022), at https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/ecuador-ask-citizens-vote-justice-reform-president-2022-01-18/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[79] US Embassy & Consulate in Ecuador, ‘Statement by Ambassador Michael J. Fitzpatrick: Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law Cooperation’ (12 October 2021), at https://ec.usembassy.gov/ambassador-statement-regarding-anti-corruption-and-rule-of-law-cooperation/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[80] Global Financial Integrity, press release, ‘Global Financial Integrity Signs Cooperation Agreement with Ecuador’s Financial Intelligence Unit’ (21 May 2020), at https://gfintegrity.org/press-release/global-financial-integrity-signs-cooperation-agreement-with-ecuadors-financial-intelligence-unit/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[81] US DOJ, press release 22-298, ‘Former Comptroller of Ecuador Indicted for Alleged Bribery and Money Laundering Scheme’ (29 March 2022), at https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-comptroller-general-ecuador-indicted-alleged-bribery-and-money-laundering-scheme (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[82] Ellen Francis, ‘Ecuador’s president faces tax investigation after Pandora Papers’, The Washington Post (22 October 2021), https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/10/22/ecuador-president-tax-investigation-pandora-papers/ (last accessed 4 November 2022).

[83] ‘The Capacity to Combat Corruption (CCC) Index, 2022’, op. cit. note 18, at 24.

[84] id.

Unlock unlimited access to all Global Investigations Review content