The US Department of Justice announced on June 7, 2021, an initiative focused on fighting corruption and other criminal activity in Central America, which will be centered for the time being on the Northern Triangle countries of El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala.
The press release announcing the initiative said the efforts will feed into its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement, counternarcotics prosecutions and the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
For companies operating in such countries, the main concern should be existence of illicit governmental relationships that include bribery and wrongful procurement.
Although initially, the DOJ will address human smuggling and drug trafficking, eventually corruption will become an investigative target (which has been named as a national security priority). The problem for companies that maintain beneficial relations with Central American governments is that some dealings, recent or long-standing, could be construed as violating the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for which the penalties are quite stern.
As a law firm with presence throughout the five countries of Central America, BLP is experienced in preparing protocols to prevent this type of illegal conducts according to the applicable domestic and international standards.
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