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International Law

Ca. Int'l Law Journal 2019, VOL. 27, NO. 1

MEXICO’S NEW ANTI-CORRUPTION LAWS

Ricardo Arias*

I. INTRODUCTION

It has been almost two years since Mexico took firm steps to root out the fundamental corruption that has plagued its governmental institutions by enacting the General Law of Administrative Responsibilities (GLAR) and making several reforms to existing laws. The GLAR and changes made to the Mexican Federal Criminal Code not only punish government officials for acts of corruption, but also punish both private legal entities and private individuals involved in corruption. The inclusion of private entities is a game-changer.

The ramifications of decades of corruption have taken their toll on Mexico. In the latest Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, Mexico ranked 138 of 180 countries "on how corrupt their public sectors are seen to be."1 Mexico ranked below Iran and just above Iraq and Venezuela.2 Consequently, companies currently doing or looking to do business in Mexico are best served by having a strong compliance department or outside consultants that can provide a solid compliance framework to avoid or mitigate liability under Mexico’s new anti-corruption laws.

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