Brazil and Mexico represent the first and second largest economies by GDP in Latin America, and they are arguably the loudest voices calling for increased anti-corruption enforcement in the region, due to a plethora of recent public scandals. It makes perfect sense that their anti-bribery and compliance (ABC) programs, while still distinctly in development, are leading regional efforts. Which makes these two countries excellent testing grounds for the Switzerland-based International Standards Organization’s newly released ISO 37001—the long awaited Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard. ISO 37001 dropped on October 14 and immediately prompted questions: what organizations are authorized to certify companies; which public offices are responsible for enforcement and will they be effective; and most importantly is the economic and political upside to embracing and supporting the standard worth the costs to do so? As Latin America’s tolerance for corruption evaporates, Brazil and Mexico will continue to improve their long-term ABC legislation; it remains to be seen whether ISO 37001 will influence their efforts.
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