Corruption and Coronavirus in Latin America

Corporate Compliance Insights

September 2020

In this article, International Department Vice Chair Alejandra Montenegro Almonte and Counsel Greg Bates discuss coronavirus-related corruption issues faced by companies operating in Latin America and offer guidance to help organizations mitigate corruption risks. "The coronavirus pandemic and the longstanding challenges of corruption and bribery in Latin America together have created a perfect storm of risk for companies operating in the region. Notwithstanding blockbuster enforcement actions by the United States and Latin-American governments, corruption continues to be a significant challenge," the authors wrote. They noted that "[r]ecent, COVID-era scandals demonstrate that the pandemic has increased opportunity for improper and illegal activities," adding that "[c]ompanies should be attuned to these risks and plan to address them. Failure to do so may lead to painful post-COVID investigations into today's improprieties."