Regional Activities Latin America
Country Profile Brazil
Country Profile Ecuador
Country Profile Mexico
Regional Profile Latin America

Country Profile Brazil


Brazil is the largest country of South America and has a population of over 207.7 million people. The country is categorised by the World Bank as an upper middle income country with an impressive GDP of 1,796,186.59 million US$, making it the 9th largest economy in the world, and making up nearly half of the Latin American economy.

Brazil ranked 105 out of 180 countries in the latest released Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International in 2018.

This marks a signififcant increase in perceived corruption in comparison to the previous year 2017 (rank 96/180), which highlights the challenge of corruption in the country. The results of the Global Corruption Barometer 2017 by Transparency International indicate that the majority (83%) of Brazilians surveyed agree that they feel empowered to fight against corruption, at the same time 78% of the respondents saw the level of corruption as increasing over the previous 12 months. Furthermore, over 74 % of the asked people said, that it is socially acceptable to report a case of corruption.

Brazil has ratified the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention, the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), the Inter-American Convention against Corruption and the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime.

Moreover, Brazil is known for its strong legal framework aimed at preventing corruption, especially regarding the specific provisions contained in the Brazilian Penal Code. In addition, 2014 saw Brazil pass an anti-bribery law (Clean Company Act (12846/2013) that makes businesses liable for corruption committed against the public administration. Furthermore, in November of 2017 the Decree 9203 was published that requests Federal Bodies to implement compulsory compliance programmes.

Furthermore, the country’s government is one of the founders of the Open Government Partnership (OGP), which is a multilateral initiative that aims to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency and fight corruption.

Instituto Ethos is the leading Corporate Social Responsibility organisation in the country, known for raising awareness on corruption and bribery for industrial federations in Brazil. Together with other organisations, Instituto Ethos launched the Business Pact for Integrity and Against Corruption, which has committed more than 500 companies to respect certain directives and procedures aimed at curbing corruption. The local chapter of Transparency International, Transparência Internacional, runs several anti-corruption projects and functions, operating in a similar manner to that of an advisory organ to federal and state governmental institutions.

Corruption scandals in Brazil in the past led to massive public demonstrations in the country that have gained extensive media coverage and have now set the stage for the private sector to get involved and pay closer attention to matters of corporate transparency and integrity.


at a Glance

Population: 212.559 million inhabitants GDP per capita: 6.796 US$ (2020)
Form of government: Presidential federative republic TI CPI rank: 105/180 (2020)
GDP: 1.445 billion US$ (2020) Score: 38/100 (2020)

THE alliance for integrity in brazil


The Alliance for Integrity has been active in Brazil since 2014. The Alliance for Integrity office in Brazil is located in São Paulo, a city with over 12 million inhabitants, often considered a melting pot and the financial capital of the nation.

In May 2016 the joint Advisory Group of the Alliance for Integrity and Transparency International was established. It comprises representatives of the following organisations:

  • Private sector: Natura, Magazine Luiza, Cisco, SAP, Banco do Brasil, Latam e Unimed Belo Horizonte
  • Public sector: Controladoria-Geral da União (CGU; Comptroller General of the Union)
  • Civil society: Instituto Ethos e Instituto Compliance Rio – ICRio
  • International Organisation: Pacto Global Rede Brasil (Global Compact Brazil)
  • Academia: Instituto Presbiteriano Mackenzie

The compliance training DEPE was recognised as an effective measure to prevent corruption by Enccla. Enccla is the National Strategy Against Corruption and Money Laundering, and it is formed by more than 64 bodies from public sector from Brazil. In 2017, the Alliance for Integrity was invited by Enccla to take part as a guest to Action 06 – Primary prevention against corruption.

The Alliance for Integrity was invited by Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil to join the Management Committee of the Agro+Integrity seal.


Flag Ecuador

Ecuador is the most biodiverse country per square kilometer in Latin America. Crossed by the equatorial line and by the Andes Mountains, Ecuador has four regions: the Amazon rainforest, the highlands, the Pacific Coast and the famous Galapagos Islands, recognised for having inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

The Ecuadorian economy has presented continuous growth since its dollarisation in 2000. Until 2014, it was one of the countries with the highest increase in public investment, poverty and inequality reduction in the region. It is one of the main producers and exporters of bananas, shrimp, flowers and cocoa in the world. Ecuador has large reserves of non-renewable natural resources and has been characterised by an export model based largely on the export of raw materials and oil.

Currently, the drop in oil prices, the national public debt and the COVID-19 pandemic have negatively affected the Ecuadorian economy. However, its impact has been lower respect to other Latin American economies. It has received the largest amounts of financing and investment from both bilateral and multilateral partners, as well as from international credit organisations during the pandemic.

Ecuador has been devoted to strengthen its confidence within international financial markets, and to foster an economic reactivation.

Since 2018, Ecuador has held a series of negotiations to expand its trade agreements: it has existing agreements with the European Union, with the United Kingdom and at the end of 2020, signed a first phase trade agreement with the United States. It is member of the OECD Development Center and is currently working to become a member State of the Pacific Alliance, integrated by Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

Corruption is a complex, multi-causal and structural phenomenon with high levels of perception in the country. Ecuador has therefore promulgated a series of regulations, norms and anti-corruption policies. The country has ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) and the Inter-American Convention Against Corruption (IACAC) . At the request of the Ecuadorian State and after the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Republic of Ecuador and the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Technical Cooperation GIZ has begun the implementation of the Bilateral Program Ecuador SinCero that promotes the prevention of corruption, transparency and citizen participation.




17.643 million inhabitants (2020)

GDP per capita:

5.600 US$ (2020)

Form of government:

Presidential Republic

TI CPI rank:

92/180 (2020)


98.808 million US$ (2020)

CPI score:

39/100 (2020)



The Alliance for Integrity officialy started its activities in Ecuador in November 2020, thanks to the support and collaboration with the bilateral GIZ programme Ecuador SinCero-Prevention of Corruption, Transparency and Citizen Participation. The work of the Alliance for Integrity in Ecuador is implemented very closely with its counterpart, the National Federation of Chambers of Industries of Ecuador (FEDIN), and other relevant partners that integrate the network at the national and subnational level.

Ecuador is also represented in the Alliance for Integrity Regional Working Groups by partners and DEPE trainers, compliance officers of a wide range of relevant companies within the country, most of them with regional or global presence.

In November 2020, the Advisory Group of the Alliance for Integrity in Ecuador was established. It comprises representatives of the following organisations:

  • Private sector: National Federation of Chambers of Industries of Ecuador (FEDIN), Ecuadorian Business Committe (Comité Empresarial Ecuatoriano), Chamber of Industries and Production (CIP), ProCredit Bank Ecuador (representing also AHK Ecuador), SERTECPET S.A.
  • Civil society: Ecuadorian Consortium for Corporate Social Responsibility (CERES Ecuador), Global Compact Ecuador, Esquel Foundation
  • Academia: Ecuadorian Center of Excellence in Anti-Corruption (CEEA)
  • Public Sector: three members from public sector organisations will soon be incorporated to the Advisory Group

Country profile Mexico


As Latin America’s second largest economy and the most important export nation in the region, Mexico plays a key economic and political role in Latin America and the Caribbean. Mexico is highly attractive to foreign investors with 33,930 million USD foreign direct investment in 2016.

However, corruption is still a significant risk for companies operating in Mexico. The costs of conducting business in Mexico is higher than in other countries in the region and the lack of transparency in the judicial system limits market competitiveness. The country’s judiciary and police, and business registration processes are often negatively influenced by corruption. Organized crime continues to be a very problematic factor for business, imposing large costs on companies. Compliance with procurement regulations is erratic, and corruption is extensive, despite laws covering conflicts of interest, competitive bidding, and company blacklisting procedures.

Despite a strong legal framework – corruption indeed is criminalised under the Penal Code, The Federal Public Servants’ Responsibilities Law, the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the Law on Acquisitions and the Law on Public Work and Related Services - Mexico’s anti-corruption legislation is not effectively enforced. Nonetheless, the country has shown interest in fighting corruption, particularly in the field of public procurement, monitoring processes, and in the health sector.

To reduce opportunities for corruption, the Mexican government introduced the Secretariat of the Economy website that offers information and forms related to investment and trade. An online federal procurement website, Compranet, is intended to increase transparency in the government and to decrease the frequency of bribery and a specialized public procurement due diligence tool for companies was built up to mitigate corruption risks associated with procurement in Mexico. In 2016, the enactment of the Constitutional Reforms regarding anti-corruption, gave birth to the country’s National Anticorruption System (SNA) which represents a historic step in the country´s fight against corruption. The SNA is a coordinating body between the federal and local authorities, which is in charge of the prevention, detection and sanction of administrative responsibilities and acts of corruption, as well as the control of pub-lic resources, in which citizens participate through a committee. Mexico has adopted the Transparency Standards on Government Procurement by the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC). Mexico has ratified the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) and is a signatory to the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention.

The government established Tramitanet (in Spanish) to allow for the electronic processing of transactions within the bureaucracy and to thereby reduce the risk of bribery. Organisations like Iniciativa Latinoamericana por los Datos Abiertos, Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL), as well as the G20 together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) are committed in the fight against corruption. There exist also a variety of initiatives from the civil society, e.g. 'Torre de Control', the citizen’s tool 'ContratoBook', the mobile application 'Escudo Ciudadano' and 'Mexicanos contra la Corrupción e Impunidad' (MCCI).


aT a Glance


128 million inhabitants

GDP per capita:

8.346 US$ (2020)

Form of government:

Presidential republic

TI CPI rank:

124/180 (2020)


1.076 billion US$ (2020)


31/100 (2020)

THE Alliance for Integrity in Mexico


The Alliance for Integrity has developed activities in Mexico together with implementation partners, since April 2016. As of September 2017, it has a regional hub in Mexico City, which has consolidated the work done.

There is a Working Group of the trainers of the DEPE corruption prevention training programme, and an ad-hoc Working Group was also created to adapt the ¡No eXcuses! guide to the local context.

In December 2018 the Advisory Group of the Alliance for Integrity was established. It comprises representatives of the following organisations:

  • Private sector: Grupo Bimbo, Confederación Patronal de la República Mexicana (COPARMEX), Consejo Coordinador Empresarial (CCE),
    Covestro, Siemens Mexico, Grupo Toks, Vesta Inmobiliaria
  • Civil society: Centro de Responsabilidad Social para el Desarrollo Sostenible Persé (Fechac), Comité de Participación Ciudadana del Sistema Nacional Anticorrupción (CPC), Mexicanos Contra la Corrupción y la Impunidad (MCCI)
  • International Organisations: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • Academia: Universidad Anáhuac México

Regional Profile LATIN AMERICa


International studies to measure corruption place Latin America at high levels of perceived corruption. For instance, the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index 2018 shows that from the countries where the Alliance for Integrity is present, only Uruguay and Chile have a score above 67 from 100, where 100 means very clean and 0 highly corrupt. Except from Argentina the rest of the countries (Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay) do not even achieve 40 points.

This shows that corruption in Latin America remains a big challenge. The levels of corruption and the mechanisms in place to tackle it vary from country to country.

Nevertheless, recent corruption scandals in the region and the subsequent increasing public awareness and mobilisation that this has provoked, has led to greater attention being placed upon this issue from governments and private sector actors across the region. In a few countries, this has already resulted in legislative changes and the creation of controlling bodies.


Besides Brazil and Mexico, the Alliance for Integrity is present in five countries in the region:



Argentina is the second largest economy in South America after Brazil. The country is experiencing a recent change of government and is undergoing significant changes in respect to tackling corruption. In 2015 a new director has been appointed to the Anti-Corruption Office (Oficina Anticorrupción), who has stated her commitment to submit to Congress a new legal bill to address the issue of stolen assets.


at a Glance

Population: 43.8 million inhabitants GDP per capita: 12,440 US$ (2016)
Form of government: Presidential democracy TI CPI rank: 85/180 (2018)
GDP: 545,4 billion US$ (2016) Score: 40/100 (2018)



Chile is one of the least corrupt countries in Latin America. In order to achieve this status, the country has taken exemplary steps to deal with corruption, such as by developing a strong and well enforced body of legislation and by building strong and transparent institutions that both promote business and have effective mechanisms to investigate and punish corrupt practices. Chile’s economy is prospering and by large parts is based on the mining sector.

at a Glance

Population: 17,909 million inhabitants GDP per capita: 8,123 US$ (2016)
Form of government: Presidential democracy TI CPI rank: 27/180 (2018)
GDP: 247,027 billion US$ (2016) Score: 67/100 (2018)



Colombia, with an economy that has experienced rapid and sustained growth over the past years, has established a public agenda on anti-corruption through the 2014 legislation on Transparency and the Right to Access National Public Information. This will facilitate the development of tools and mechanisms that will promote higher levels of transparency and therefore minimise corruption risks.


at a Glance

Population: 48,653 million inhabitants GDP per capita: 5,805.6 US$ (2016)
Form of government: Presidential democracy TI CPI rank: 99/180 (2018)
GDP: 282,462 billion US$ (2016) Score: 36/100 (2018)



Paraguay is placed among the countries with the highest level of perceived corruption in Latin America, according to the Corruption Perception Index by Transparency International. This shows the great challenge that this country faces and thus, the greater need for the Alliance for Integrity to foment higher levels of transparency. Although the country does have strict laws relating to matters of compliance and prevention of corruption, such as the law to prevent and suppress unlawful acts intended to legitimise money or property, significantly greater enforcement is needed if it is to result in noticeable change.

at a Glance

Population: 6,725 million inhabitants GDP per capita: 4,077.7 US$ (2016)
Form of government: Presidential republic TI CPI rank: 132/180 (2018)
GDP: 27,424 billion US$ (2016) Score: 29/100 (2018)



Uruguay achieved the highest score in the region on Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index. Nevertheless, it is far from being free of corruption and its government advocates further improvement. In this context, they continue to strive for higher levels of transparency and continue to invest resources in effective control and monitoring mechanisms.

at a Glance

Population: 3,444 million inhabitants GDP per capita: 15,220 US$ (2016)
Form of government: Presidential democracy TI CPI rank: 23/180 (2018)
GDP: 52,419 billion US$ (2016)


70 (2018)



The Alliance for Integrity has been active since 2015 in Latin America with its capacity building programme "De Empresas para Empresas". In Latin-America we have offices in Brazil and Mexico. In the rest of Latin America the work of the Alliance for Integrity is implemented by cooperation with various local partners.

The Regional Working Group Latin America consists of different partners and stakeholders from the whole Latin American continent. In regular meetings, they exchange their expertise and foster efforts of implementing compliance measures on a regional level.

Since 2017, the Alliance for Integrity has been offering training session to State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Since 2018, representatives from SOEs from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico have been exchanging experiences on the topic in the Regional Working Group of State-Owned Enterprises. At their meetings, the working group discusses best practices and is currently developing a compendium on tools for integrity programmes within SOEs.

Local Partners

The following organisations are partners in implementing the training programme "De Empresas para Empresas" in Latin America.



With our Train-the-Trainer programme we have already been able to qualify a considerable number of trainers.

Working Group

The Regional Working Group Latin America brings together compliance professionals from the region.