Navigating cross-border legal issues in Brazil and Mexico: anti-corruption, ethics and compliance
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September 29, 2021
- Mexico and Brazil are not identical countries with the same corruption risks: Mexico and Brazil are different countries with different cultures, languages, history and enforcement mechanisms. There is no standard approach to dealing with corruption risks in the two countries. Be open to tailoring your company’s anti-corruption compliance approach based on the highest business risks in these locations.
- Changing Anti-Corruption Risk Landscape: Risks are not static. The pandemic has increased some corruption risks while decreasing others. While there may not be unsolicited in-person government inspections and audits, other risks can be problematic, such as:
- Requests for:
- “Facilitation” or additional payments from business partners, agents and third party suppliers, as distribution and supply chains are under strain;
- “Facilitation” or additional payments from government officials for licenses or permits to fully reopen operations or become “core businesses”;
- “Charitable” donations or societal contributions to provide, for example, medicines, vaccines or masks to key areas where your business operates;
- Direct award of public contracts without any open tendering procedure; and
- Claims for reimbursement of gifts to third parties.
- Application trends:
- Even though the fight against corruption in Mexico can be inconsistent, the US and Brazilian authorities continue to cooperate. At least three of the DOJ’s resolutions, since January 2020, referred to how the US and Brazilian authorities had cooperated to enforce their respective anti-corruption laws.
- Several of the resolutions noted how the DOJ credits company penalties paid to Brazilian authorities.
- Many resolutions also noted enforcement efforts against individuals, and the companies agreed to cooperate more with more in-depth investigations of executives, employees and agents.
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