This article first appeared in La Tercera on June 19, 2018.

Congratulations! the counterpart legislation of the law of criminal liability of legal persons that we have in Chile, has already entered into force in Peru and Argentina. Yes, the law that prosecutes bribery, money laundering, and financing of terrorism will help these countries to work on a culture of doing things well, a culture of ethics, and less corruption, a situation that their people have been asking for long time.

We are in a global world and with countries increasingly aligned, it is easier than you think to fight corruption. In this sense, the Chilean private sector, whose business crosses the border to Peru and Argentina, has an advantage: as transnational companies only need one Crime Prevention Model, they do not need to apply different models or wear themselves out studying the law depending on the country they are in, since the models follow international standards that are practically the same in neighboring countries. In other words, the same can be applied as in our country. This implies that all the Chilean experience on such law should be correctly applied and therefore exemplary.

Now if the business is taken to countries where the law does not exist, there is the regulation of bribery to a foreign public official, therefore they should be concerned anyway to have a path of rectitude and close all routes that lead to a possible irregularity. In any case, the advice to companies is to adopt a real change of attitude rather than to begrudgingly adhere to a law. It is not because legislation is more restrictive that there will be less corruption. All that is needed is to accept the challenge. In this area, it is worth noting that Chile has already begun to export its experience in compliance matters, so there are no excuses for having a foolproof ethical culture.

This is just the beginning and can be an excellent first step to forge ties in anti-corruption matters between Argentina, Peru, and Chile. An alliance can be formed, especially since many companies are present in these three countries, Latin America can defeat corruption.

By Susana Sierra