CD: Latin America is regularly view as a high-risk environment in which to conduct business, due to its association with fraud and corruption. Do you believe this is a fair assessment of the region?

Fogarty: I don’t think one can assess a region which contains – including the Caribbean and Mexico – 26 countries with diverse populations, histories and cultures by one definition. Each country is at different stages of development economically but also in terms of rule of law and transparency. Having said that, there is certainly a significant level of corruption that still exists in many parts of the region. We see though, with the recent protests in Brazil and Colombia being one example, that there is an increasing frustration with corruption in federal, state and local government, among other concerns. While most countries have strong anti-corruption laws on the books, the enforcement of the same has been sporadic and inconsistent. I see this changing going forward as governments begin to understand the political and economic ramifications of the failure to enforce regulations designed to reduce fraud and corruption.

Oct-Dec 2013 issue

Berkeley Research Group, LLC