Latin America's Anti-Bribery: Developments in 2020 and Predictions for 2021

The pandemic has left multiple ravages worldwide and corruption has not been outside to this scenario. In fact, 2020 was an active year in the fight against corruption, especially in Latin America, which alerted organizations such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), due to the fact that many of the cases investigated and resolved by U.S. regulators involved companies operating in Latin American countries.

The crisis led to a decrease in controls and compliance with protocols, both within private companies and public agencies, providing fertile ground for corruption, as the urgency to “save themselves” found justification for various irregular acts. An example of this can be seen in the acquisition of medical supplies, such as ventilators or masks, which in several countries were purchased at overpriced prices, through direct dealings and under less control of public spending, demonstrating a lack of transparency and probity.

Corruption does not rest or become a pandemic and, therefore, we must redouble our efforts in the fight against corruption, promoting a culture of compliance and doing things right, where it is not only important how we achieve results, but also how we get there.

The following document summarizes the main developments in anti-bribery enforcement in 2020 in Latin America made by WilmerHale. It also provides some predictions for 2021, where we anticipate that the pressures generated by the COVID-19 pandemic may lead to further investigations of high-level government corruption.

This article belongs to WilmerHale.