On 10 March, an article from Control Risks says that the risk of fraud and corruption has increased substantially across Latin America. Unfortunately, this situation coincides with troubling anti-corruption enforcement trends in the region. An updated index covers 15 Latin American countries comprising 95% of the region’s GDP. Rather than measuring perceptions of corruption or resulting economic damage, the Index evaluates countries based on how effectively they tackle the problem. Countries with a higher score are deemed more likely to prosecute and punish corrupt actors. For example, Uruguay ranks highest on the index with a score of 7.78 out of 10, meaning it has been deemed the most likely to uncover, punish and deter corruption. When comparing results for the 8 countries featured in last year’s index, Chile, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico have stagnated while Brazil, Guatemala and Venezuela saw decreases in their overall scores. Peru was the standout exception, showing an improvement over the previous year’s assessment. The article says that the findings have significant implications for companies doing business in Latin America. They reveal an uneven and rapidly changing enforcement landscape complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This underscores the need for companies to update their risk assessments and adapt their compliance programs to manage corruption risks.
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