The perception of corruption in Latin America is a stigma that the counties are working to overcome. It’s no surprise that “Greasing Palms-Current Regulatory and Enforcement Trends in Anti-Corruption in Latin America” was a lead panel at the recent Latin American Regional Forum Conference of the International Bar Association (IBA), the global voice of the legal profession. The forum was held March 12-14, 2014 in Punta del Este, Uruguay. More than 600 lawyers attended from Latin America along with several attorneys from the United States and Europe. Harvey Jay Cohen, Chair of Dinsmore’s International Business Practice Group and an IBA Committee Officer, served on the Anti- Corruption panel led by top Argentine and Brazilian lawyers. The Associate General Counsel of GlaxoSmithKline and a forensic lawyer from Ernst & Young, New York also served as panelists. 

“While active compliance programs have been a best practice for ethical companies for decades, specific anti corruption programs melded into corporate DNA from top to bottom are essential today for U.S. and other companies active in international transactions,” noted Cohen. “The huge turnout for this panel and the lively discussion around the topic demonstrate the fact that companies are taking notice.” 

Along with corporate compliance programs, the panel also discussed issues like avoiding corruption, civil and criminal penalties for companies and officers, cooperation among countries’ enforcement agencies and recent prosecutions and ongoing cases. The audience had an active role in the panel with various countries’ Transparency International personnel and attorneys for the European Union adding comments.