FCPAméricas Blog

The Language of Bribery in Latin America

Author: Guest Author

LanguageThis post was co-authored by Leah Moushey, an associate at Miller & Chevalier.

To run an effective FCPA compliance program in Latin America, it is important to know the terms and phrases used locally to describe bribery. This helps companies identify corruption risks and respond with appropriate compliance strategies. Compliance trainings in the region are more effective when corruption risks can be explained using familiar terminology. Compliance audits and internal investigations can use local bribery terminology in electronic document searches to identify problematic issues.

As part of the 2016 Latin America Corruption Survey, released by Miller & Chevalier and 13 partner law firms throughout Latin America, many of the Survey’s 637 respondents located throughout the region suggested commonly-used terms for bribery in the countries where they live and work. We have compiled the responses and organized them into a list of region-wide and country-specific terms:

Country Terms & Phrases Associated with Bribery
Region-Wide (Spanish)

(used in 5+ countries)

arreglo, aceitado/aceitar, cohecho, coima/coimear, comisión, corrupción, corrupto, dádiva, dulce, mordida, propina, sobornar/soborno, tajada
Argentina ablandado/ablandar, adornado/adornar, arreglado, atención, curro, diego, diezmo, peaje, peinado/peinar,  retorno, transar/tranzar, tranza
Bolivia abreviado, agilizar, arreglar, billetear, colaboración, dar celeridad, diezmo, muñequear, palanquear, procedimiento, reconocer a alguien
Brazil acarajé, acerto, agrado, ajuda, ajuda de custo, ajudinha, arrego, bacalhau, bala, balinha, bola, bomba, café, cafézinho, caixinha, cascalho, cerveja, cervejinha, charuto, colaboração, comissão, compensação, contribuição, dar um jeitinho, dar um jeito, desconto, desenrole, dinheiro do café, dízimo, doce, docinho, extra, facilitar, faz-me rir, forcinha, força, gorjeta, gratificação, graxa, gruja,  jabá, jabuticaba, jeitinho, jeito, lambuja, leitinho das crianças, levar bola, levar por fora, mala, manga, maracutaia, mata-bicho, mesada, molhadura, molhar as mãos, necessidade, nota, outra forma, oxigênio, pagar bola, parceria, participação, payback, pedágio, pixuleco, por fora, presente, propina, taxa de urgência, taxa extra, troco, xixica, 10 purça
Chile arreglín, corruptela, coimero, cometa, chanchullo/chanchuyo, licitación o bases a la medida, mojar (a alguien)/mojado, negocio o acuerdo a puerta cerrada, pagar por abajo o por debajo, untar
Colombia ají, hampón, serrucho, chanchullo, colaboración, corbata, CBY (como voy yo), como voy ahí, mascada,  mermelada, miti-miti, peaje, rebusque, rosca, torcido, trampa
Costa Rica argolla, chanchuyo, chorizo, chulo, echar, ladrón, sucio
Dominican Republic botella, borona, chantaje, cogioca, ladrón, macuteo, peajes,  picada, robadera, robar, tumbe
Ecuador aletazo/aletaso, “ayúdeme a ayudarle”, arreglemos, billetear, chanchullos, chequesito/chequecito, choros, favorcito, “hay que cubrir costos”, ladrones, llevar/el lleve, mordidita/ él/ella muerde, “muéstreme un cariñito”, palanca, para las colas, partir el pastel, “ponerle aceite”, “por la plata baila el mono”, premio, repartir/el reparto, “si no pagas, no juegas”
El Salvador amaño, canchullo, compadre hablado, hueveio, ladrón, movida, rucu-rucu, tranza(s)
Guatemala business, caco, chantaje, debajo de agua, delincuentes con tacuche, extorsión, fafa, favores, hueveo, inmorales, ladrones, “les dan para sus aguas”, “les dan para sus dulces”, mañoso, moco, mosca, mordelón, negociación bajo la mesa, ratero, shuco, shuko, sinvergüenza, transero, trinquete
Honduras aporte, argolla, chanchuyo, impuesto de guerra, incentivo, moje, movida, pando, rucu-rucu, unte
Mexico acelerar, atención, “ayúdeme a ayudarlo”, chocolates, cochupe, cochupo, “¿Cómo le hacemos?”, “¿Cómo te ayudo?”, conflicto de interés, contribución, dar una atención, dinero por debajo de la mesa, echar la mano, “écheme la mano”, embarrada/embarrar, engrasar, grasa, gratificación, “hoy por ti, mañana por mí”, michas, mi parte, mochada, mocharse, moche(s), negocios por debajo de la mesa, “no se raje”, pagos indebidos, pagos por debajo del agua, para sus chicles, para sus dulces, pa’ los chescos, ponerse guapo, póngase la del puebla, porcentaje, refresco, regalito, regalo, reparto, salto, sobreprecio, sucio, “traer agua a mi molino”, transar/transa, un tostón
Nicaragua chanchullo, chantaje, colaboración, comprar favores, negocio(s) turbio(s), pago por debajera, pagar mordida
Panama bajarse del bus, donación, guiso, habla pues, moja, pásale algo, “¿Qué hay para mí?”, salpique, tumbe
Paraguay chanchullo(s), fato, negociado
Peru apoyo, cabeza, cariño, chocolate, colaboración, contribución, cutra, mermelada, parte, peaje, porción
Uruguay cometero, coimero
Venezuela algo pal´ café, algo pal´ fresco, chanchuyo, colaboración,”¿Cuánto hay pa´ eso?”, descuentos adicionales, de cuello blanco,enchufados, gastos extras, guiso, matraca, matraqueo, mejor amigo, me/le pasan algo, mitimiti, otros intermediarios, pana, peaje, pranes, rosca, sobreprecio, vacuna, vuelta

The authors would like to thank colleagues at the following firms for their assistance in the preparation of this post: BLP Legal, Carey y Cía. Ltda., Estudio Beccar Varela, Ferrere Abogados, Hoet Pelaez Castillo & Duque Abogados, KLA – Koury Lopes Advogados, Orihuela Abogados, Paz Horowitz Abogados, PWC, QIL+4 Abogados, and Von Wobeser y Sierra, S.C.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author in his or her individual capacity, and do not necessarily represent the views of anyone else, including the entities with which the author is affiliated, the author’s employers, other contributors, FCPAméricas, or its advertisers. The information in the FCPAméricas blog is intended for public discussion and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide legal advice to its readers and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It does not seek to describe or convey the quality of legal services. FCPAméricas encourages readers to seek qualified legal counsel regarding anti-corruption laws or any other legal issue. FCPAméricas gives permission to link, post, distribute, or reference this article for any lawful purpose, provided attribution is made to the author and to FCPAméricas LLC.

© 2017 FCPAméricas, LLC

Post authored by Guest

Categories: Anti-Corruption Compliance, Audits, English, FCPA, Trainings

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