Over the last five years, Mexico has undertaken important structural reforms to several segments of the Mexican economy, most notably, the energy sector that was previously closed off to foreign investment. However, these structural reforms also present new challenges to Mexico’s efforts to combat and prevent corruption. The most recent step in that direction was the creation in 2016 of the Mexican Anti-Corruption System, which draws upon international efforts to combat corruption, including the adoption of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in the U.S. in 1977.

The FCPA was adopted to prevent improper payments or inducements to foreign governmental officials in order to corruptly influence their actions and obtain an undue advantage. The FCPA seeks to discourage foreign corrupt practices through two principal mechanisms: (i) its anti-bribery provisions, and (ii) its accounting and record-keeping provisions. U.S. companies and their officers, directors, employees, and agents (as well as all U.S. citizens) are subject to the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA. In addition, foreign companies whose shares are publicly-traded in the United States (including through the use of American Depositary Receipts) or otherwise qualify as an “issuer” under the statute are also subject to the accounting and bookkeeping provisions requiring companies to keep books, records, and accounts which, in reasonable detail, accurately and fairly reflect the transactions and dispositions of the assets of the company.

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