Ten takeaways from a carnival of corporate chicanery—five reasons why it marks an encouraging turning point for the region, and five reasons to doubt that graft won’t continue to thrive.
Archive of: Insights
Most outsiders see Chile as the lowest risk country in the region when it comes to bribery and corruption, but something uncomfortable is afoot.
Opinion polls have pointed to radical populist AMLO sweeping to power in 2018, adding risks to businesses, but the political fall-out from the recent earthquakes could scupper his chances.
Anti-corruption prosecutors in Lima have leaked a document that provides a snapshot of the detail that is emerging of the money flows at the heart of the Brazilian company’s international bribery scheme.
The surge in nationalist fervour and amplified doubts over NAFTA is a dream-come-true for Andrés Manuel López Obrador, but the presence of an external enemy can lead a populist to morph into a radical.
Odebrecht’s disclosure of bribery across the region will test each country’s political willingness and institutional autonomy to act on evidence of industrial-scale corruption.
A package of leniency deals poised to be signed by the construction giant’s executives with prosecutors will not only have consequences in Brazil, but also in several other countries in the region.
It’s a pivotal moment for Mexico as a regional governor goes missing amid massive fraud claims just as a drive to implement a package of aggressive anti-corruption reforms gains traction.
The blocking of the referendum process will exacerbate tensions inside the military, where some officers and troops have also favoured a recall.
Fears that the rejection of the FARC accord will tip the country back into civil war are overblown. But it is equally farfetched to think that peace will trigger an economic boom.
Prosecutors say bribes were managed using a software system which catalogued the amounts paid, the codenames of their recipients, how the payments were physically made, and in reference to which project.
For corruption watchers in the region, there has long been suspicion over how Odebrecht managed to capture such an extensive array of public sector infrastructure contracts worth billions of dollars, beyond just being good at building bridges, highways and airports.
Bankers and financial regulators in Panama were celebrating after the Paris-based Financial Action Task-Force removed the country from its list of high-risk money-laundering jurisdictions.
Investigators have reportedly seized a list of hundreds of offshore companies - and their Brazilian shareholders - set up by Mossack Fonseca, a potential goldmine of information that could accelerate the pace of Lava Jato and spark other money-laundering probes.
The Supreme Court has ruled that the banking superintendent, SBP, must maintain the identity of the banks that have been sanctioned for money-laundering and other compliance failures as confidential.
Various former Mexican state governors are being investigated for money-laundering and links to organised crime, both in Mexico and in the US.
Prosecutors allege that Aroch Mugrabi laundered up to COP700bn over the past 14 years through transactions centered on fictitious textile exports to Venezuela, where he also benefited from the official and parallel exchange rate differential.
The political opposition’s control of congress increases the chances that major corruption schemes involving foreign companies doing business in Venezuela become publicly exposed.
The detention of Esteves jolts - in spectacular fashion - the Lava Jato anti-corruption investigation into the sphere of Brazil’s financial services sector.
Due diligence on potential acquisition targets or joint venture partners in Argentina has been complicated in recent times as a result of the Kirchner governments’ tight grip over the Inspección General de Justicia, IGJ, which holds corporate records.
Financial fronts, or testaferros, for corrupt Venezuelan officials are fond of using accounts in the names of entities domiciled in offshore jurisdictions such as Panama, Aruba, Curaçao, BVI, Monaco and Hong Kong to squirrel away or launder the proceeds of their activities.
Security challenges for businesses are likely to morph from ‘classic’ conflict-zone type risks into hazards more prevalent in high criminality environments, such as those in Mexico and Venezuela.
Public perceptions of the prevalence of security risks in Mexico are improving, but at a slower pace than the underlying trend of a longer-term improvement in the real incidence of crime shown by statistics.
The multi-billion dollar bribery scandal swirling around Petrobras is causing ructions in Brazil, but graft on a similar—or greater—scale relating to oil companies is occurring elsewhere in Latin America.
Bribes totalling at least USD5m were paid through intermediaries domiciled in Panama into private bank accounts in Switzerland.
The Financial Intelligence Unit compiled for prosecution 87 separate dossiers detailing mechanisms that likely attempted to launder a total of MXN59bn, about USD4.4bn, during 2014.
Banks and companies dealing with Venezuela need to be extra vigilant for transactions and contracts involving intermediaries using offshore entities or accounts in these domiciles as these are at risk of being identified as linked to corruption and FCPA / Bribery Act violations.
Colombia’s main insurgent group, the FARC, has agreed a landmark pact to help clear anti-personnel mines and IEDs seeded across the country, but the process is at best likely to be slow.