Costa Rica joins convention to combat bribery of public officials

By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The various institutions and ministries of Costa Rica praised the country’s joining another international cooperation agreement.

Costa Rica joined the Convention to Combat Bribery of Foreign Public Servants in International Commercial Transactions.

This announcement was sent to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, an international body of nations that the government desperately seeks to be a member of.

The admission of Costa Rica into the convention is expected to take effect by July 21, according to Casa Presidencial.

So what is this convention?

According to its own website, the Anti-Bribery Convention establishes legally-binding standards to criminalize bribery of foreign public officials in issues related to international business transactions.

The convention claims to be the first and only international cooperative focused on the person attempting to bribe rather than the person accepting.

As to the teeth to this convention, that really is determined upon the willingness and or the ability of the country to enforce its measures.

Since it came into force in 1999, the convention includes some underwhelming examples of anti-corruption such as Russia, South Africa and Brazil among its membership.

All three of those are either undergoing or have undergone scandal related to corrupt public officials going all the way to the highest executive power in the past.

Some could interpret the joining of this convention on the part of Costa Rica as simply another step the country seeks to take to press home its case to join the overseeing OECD.

Costa Rica has been trying to join this group since 2015 and has so far not yet obtained membership but has received plenty of negative and gloomy reports from the group.

OECD urges Costa Rica to reshape some of the country’s economic, trade and political policies to reflect a shift in the neoliberal model, a model that the organization likes to promote.

It is also a forum by which issues of free trade and the improvement of the market economy are often discussed.

Recently, the legislature rammed a bill through to prevent Costa Rica from being blacklisted by the organization’s Financial Action Task Force, which investigates and reports on the status of countries and their policies related to fighting money laundering and terrorist financing.

For its part, Costa Rican officials hope that the adoption of the convention’s standards will aid the country’s case for membership but also to adapt the country’s laws on bribery of public officials to international standards.

“Through this international instrument, the country undertakes to establish strict and effective norms to typify, prevent, detect, investigate and punish bribery of foreign public officials in commercial transactions,” a statement from the government said.

 

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