Matteson Ellis Comments on Deepening Political Crisis in Guatemala in The Wall Street Journal's Risk and Compliance Journal

"The Morning Risk Report: Guatemala in Crisis"
The Wall Street Journal's Risk and Compliance Journal
09.03.15Matteson Ellis commented on the deepening political crisis in Guatemala as lawmakers voted to strip the president of prosecution immunity amid massive protests. According to Ellis, enforcement regimes in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and, now, Guatemala, have been empowered lately. However, he added, unique to Guatemala is the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity, or CICIG, which was originally impaneled to focus on illicit security forces, but ended up also doing more general anti-corruption work. "All of these mechanisms, which were made for [the] illicit-security purposes, are being put to use against bread-and-butter corruption," he said. While some experts suggest that the political crisis does not have a strong direct implication on business practices in Guatemala, because companies operating there already have a high risk threshold, Ellis suggested that companies seeking or doing business there should pay particular attention to customs officials, especially if their names have been coming up recently in local media covering the scandal. "Kick the tires," he said.
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