Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean commit to remain actively engaged in anti-corruption enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic, and work together to ensure that corruption-related challenges are effectively addressed
27/11/2020 - The third meeting of the Latin America & Caribbean Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Network (LAC LEN), took place on 18-19 November 2020. With the focus on issues pertaining to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the meeting brought together more than 90 law enforcement officials from 16 countries, including representatives from Canada, Italy, United Kingdom and United States.
The LAC LEN, which was established in 2018 in Buenos Aires, aims to equip law enforcement authorities in Latin America and the Caribbean with the necessary tools, capacity and expertise to effectively investigate and prosecute complex foreign bribery and corruption cases. It provides a vital platform for informal exchange of information to facilitate the provision of legal assistance among its members. The activities of the network aim to support the region’s efforts to strengthen democracy and the rule of law, and promote sustainable development, in line with the 2018 Lima Commitment on Democratic Governance against Corruption, and of the 2018 OECD LAC Action Plan for Integrity and Good Governance.
Recognising that the COVID-19 pandemic increased significantly corruption risks in Latin America and the Caribbean, as in the whole world, and affected adversely many types of law enforcement activity in the region, the 2020 LAC LEN meeting focused on discussing challenges, exchanging good practices and conducting case-based peer-led training on issues related to:
COVID-19 impact and response, in particular corruption cases in public procurement and economic support packages;
Corporate liability and anti-corruption compliance;
Working with witnesses, informants and whistleblowers.
This year’s meeting also included a high level session with the participation of Prosecutors and Attorneys General from the region to discuss ongoing anti-corruption enforcement developments, take stock of the LAC LEN activities in 2018-2020, and explore opportunities for further work in 2021 onward. The session also provided an opportunity to launch the new project on “Global Law Enforcement Response to Corruption in Crisis Situations” implemented by the OECD Anti-Corruption Division with the support of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the first activity of the project took place following the high level session, in the form of a webinar.
For more information, contact: Apostolos Zampounidis, OECD Anti-Corruption Division (Apostolos.Zampounidis@oecd.org). For more information about the OECD's anti-corruption work in Latin America and the Caribbean, please visit: www.oecd.org/corruption/oecd-latinamericaanti-corruptionprogramme.htm.