The latest (and highly recommended) issue of Americas Quarterly poses this question, saying that about 5 years ago, something strange started happening throughout Latin America: powerful people began going to jail for corruption.  Presidents, senators and business leaders long regarded as untouchable were suddenly being held to account for their role in huge scandals.  However, it says, that hopeful story is at risk. Several recent cases illustrate why, without change, the anti-corruption drive will fall well short of the transformation many dreamed of.

The journal comprises a large set of fascinating and informative articles, any one of which on its own would be worth having a look at the publication.

Articles include –

  • What Latin America’s “Corruption Busters” Got Right – and Wrong – an overview of the popular but struggling anti-corruption movement, and ideas on how to save it;
  • Latin America’s Biggest Corruption Cases: A Retrospective – from Mexico to Argentina, iconic scandals have reshaped politics, this article examines their origins – and the fallout – in Mexico, Guatemala, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Peru and Haiti; as well as the Panama Papers, FIFA scandal and the Odebrecht case;
  • The Lonely Prosecutor Who Tried to Build a “Lava Jato” in the Amazon – how lawmen in Peru, outside the national media spotlight, struggle with threats, sabotage – and, often, failure;
  • A Convicted Criminal’s Guide to Curbing Corruption in Brazil – advice from the leader of an illegal money-moving scheme, Vinicius Claret, a black-market foreign exchange dealer, or doleiro, involved in 2 of Brazil’s most notorious corruption schemes of recent years;
  • Fighting Corruption: What Works/What Doesn’t – which tools have proven most effective in preventing corruption? A closer look at best practices: corporate liability laws, plea bargains and whistleblower protections, stricter campaign finance rules, international collaboration, term limits and re-election bans, asset forfeiture, rules to pick Attorneys General, pre-trial detention, open procurement processes, and/or stricter lobbying rules;
  • Target Corruption’s Roots – structural political reforms are the way forward for Latin America;
  • Compliance Is Taking Off in Latin America. Is It Effective?;
  • Latin America’s Top 5 Anti-Corruption Figures;
  • The Next Frontier in Latin America’s Anti-Corruption Drive – the Anti-Corruption Working Group’s survey of public policy looks at evolving forms of international collaboration in Latin America;
  • How to Stop Corruption – and Save Democracy – in Latin America – corruption erodes democracy. Strengthening institutions is the only sure way to stop it.

This blog is primarily for my own use, to keep informed and up to date. However, if you would like to say thank you (and perhaps help me get a new, better laptop when I am away…) you can “buy me a coffee” at

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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