This article first appeared in La Tercera on August 26, 2018.

It seems like a story out of the movies but no, it is a true story that reveals how the fraud machine worked in Argentina and that has as protagonists the former presidents of Argentina, Néstor Kirchner, and Cristina Fernández, as well as important businessmen who allegedly paid bribes to win bids for emblematic public works in that country. Everything starts from an assumption but corroborates the hypothesis of a high level of corruption that gives rise to the Argentine Lava Jato.

It is a case of old-fashioned corruption with briefcases of money involved and businessmen willing to pay high sums of money to be awarded projects; who now declare themselves “repentant” and justify the payments because they claim that there was extortion involved as if that were a valid argument. It is time for companies to assume that they have a fundamental role in reducing corruption.

Beyond the investigation of the case of the notebooks and those who are involved in the payment of bribes, it is pertinent to learn lessons so that a similar case is not replicated in Latin America. Today, companies have it in their hands to say no to corruption. In addition, everywhere in the world, they must know which companies they are doing business with because when contracting a service we worry about the final requirement but we do not question how the company operates and we must give ourselves the necessary time.

By Susana Sierra