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Amid corruption scandals, compliance booms in Brazil 

Rodrigo Amaral | August 9, 2016

A few years ago, Brazilian businessman Marcelo Odebrecht, the CEO and president of a multinational construction group, rubbed shoulders with the world’s elites at the Swiss resort of Davos as a “young global leader” of the World Economic Forum. Now he occupies a tiny prison cell at the provincial city of Curitiba, in Brazil, after being condemned to 19 years in jail for corruption, money laundering, and organized crime. 

Odebrecht’s fall from grace provides the most powerful illustration of a trend that points to a paradigm shift in the business culture of Latin America’s largest economy. In the past two years, authorities have deployed an anti-bribery crusade never seen before in the country, taking dozens of politicians, public officials, and business leaders to jail. It has also pressed on company’s boards the need to implement effective compliance programs in order to mitigate the risk of punishments that range from prison terms and large fines to the outright extinction...

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