Primary anti-corruption legislation and enforcement agencies
Criminal Code 2000
Title XV, Chapter Three to the Criminal Code (Criminal Code) as amended by Law 1438, Law 1474 and Law 1778
Prohibits bribery of foreign and domestic public officials
Investigating agency: Colombian General Prosecutors Office (FGN)
Prosecuting agencies: Criminal judges; Superintendence of Companies (Supersociedades)
Bribing Foreign Public Officials (§433)
A person is guilty of such offense if:
- he or she offers, promises, provides or causes to be provided a benefit or advantage to a foreign public official;1 and
- the benefit/advantage is not legitimately due to that person – no regard is given to whether the benefit/advantage is customary, its value, or any official tolerance; and
- he or she did so with the intention of influencing a foreign public official in the exercise of their official duties, so as to retain or obtain business, or obtain or retain a business advantage that is not legitimately due – no regard is given to whether the business advantage is customary, its value or any official tolerance.2
Corporate liability arises under the Criminal Code and Law 1778 if an employee, agent or officer of a body corporate commits an element of the offense while acting within the actual or apparent scope of their authority. Evidence of the existence of an effective and adequate corporate compliance culture may be the basis of a reduction in the fines.
Penalties – Criminal and/or Civil liability
For an individual (Law 1778) – Imprisonment from nine to 15 years; fines from 650 to 50,000 minimum monthly legal wages (i.e., approximately USD130,000 to USD10 million at rates current as of the edition date)
For bodies corporate (Law 1778) – A fine of up to USD10 million at rates current as of the edition date
1 Benefit includes any advantage and is not limited to property. It may be intangible (e.g., hospitality). 2 The prosecution does not have to prove that business, or a business advantage, was actually obtained or retained.
This list is to be used as a guide only. It is intended to provide high-level information regarding the primary laws in the specified countries in relation to anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws. Please refer to the relevant legislation for detailed information and to ensure that the information contained in this guide is up-to-date, and refer to the relevant Baker McKenzie contact for the jurisdiction for specific advice.