By: Aarti Maharaj
The 2016 Rio Olympics kicked off last week with the opening ceremony in Rio de Janeiro where athletes, leaders, executives and foreign dignitaries gathered to celebrate the world of sports as the country continues to struggle with issues such as political violence, corruption and economic uncertainty.
The problem of corruption in Brazil and other Latin American countries runs so deep that it remains a great threat for companies doing business in this region. The Petrobras scandal, for example, which has implicated dozens of companies, executives and politicians, exposed the culture of corruption in Brazil and the need for tighter regulations and reform. Over the years, studies have repeatedly shown Brazil to stand out among the list of most corrupted countries in Latin America. Most recently, a study by Miller & Chevalier Chartered, a Washington, DC law firm, pointed out that 93 percent of respondents working in Brazil report that they are aware of a company, individual or government official being prosecuted for corruption. The survey received 637 responses from corporate executives across 19 countries in Latin America. On the upside, however, it reported that Brazil has made significant strides on the anti-corruption compliance front.
— Christine Duhaime (@cduhaime) August 7, 2016
“The overwhelming interest in Compliance is indeed new in Brazil, because quite a number of companies have been implementing compliance programs and have been concerned about its international reach,” said Salim Saud Neto, Partner at Saud Advogados, in cooperation with Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP, in a recent interview with Ethisphere. “The problem is that it is only after implementing a program that companies realize there’s a lack of talent in the market. Very few professionals have had compliance experience and most universities or schools have not offered programs focused on compliance or corporate governance.”
— AntiCorruptionDigest (@anti_digest) August 3, 2016
According to Transparency International, a global non-governmental organization, fighting corruption in Brazil is very much similar to the grit, dedication and dash of luck needed by athletes to win the gold medal.