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24 December 2018
Historically, only individuals could commit crimes in Mexico. Companies could be held only jointly liable for damages caused by their employees, officials or representatives through a criminal activity. However, following recent amendments to the Criminal Code and the enactment of the new National Code of Criminal Procedures, companies may now be held criminally liable. Thus, if a company is accused of bribing a public officer, both the individuals involved and the company can be subject to criminal liability.
Under the General Law on Administrative Accountability, the following acts constitute administrative offences:
Each act is defined under the law. For example, 'bribery' is defined as the promise, offer or delivery of an unlawful benefit by an individual or company to one or more public servants, directly or through a third party, in exchange for said public servants taking or refraining from taking an action relating to their duties or that of another public servant, or to abuse their influence, with the purpose of obtaining or maintaining, for themselves or a third party, a benefit or advantage, regardless of the acceptance or receipt of the benefit or the result obtained therefrom.
Individuals who commit any of the above acts may incur:
Companies that commit any of the above acts may incur:
A fine reduction programme allows for a 50% to 70% fine reduction if the offender voluntarily discloses its illegal conduct before the authority initiates a penalty procedure. Subsequent offenders that come forward can receive a reduction of up to:
Notably, administrative and criminal liability are not mutually exclusive. As such, an individual or company can be liable for both types of liability.
Notwithstanding the above, the General Law on Administrative Accountability provides that the Mexican authorities will consider a company's implementation of an integrity policy when determining its liability. Under Article 15 of the law, an 'integrity policy' must include:
Under the General Law on Administrative Accountability, the implementation of an integrity policy is crucial for companies. Where a company does not have such a policy and an employee commits a company-related crime, the company may be subject to both criminal and administrative liability, which may result in the suspension of it business or even its dissolution.
For further information on this topic please contact Abigail Ruiz at Becerril, Coca & Becerril SC by telephone (+52 55 5263 8730) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). The Becerril, Coca & Becerril website can be accessed at www.bcb.com.mx.
The materials contained on this website are for general information purposes only and are subject to the disclaimer.
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