HomeNewsBriefUS Chamber of Commerce Faults Piracy in Latin America
BRIEF

US Chamber of Commerce Faults Piracy in Latin America

1 MAY 2012 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The US Chamber of Commerce has named 13 countries in Latin America as not doing enough to combat counterfeiting and piracy. Thought to be the second biggest illicit market in the world, the counterfeit goods trade is a major money-maker for organized crime.

In its annual Special 301 report, which identifies countries that do not sufficiently enforce intellectual property laws, the Chamber of Commerce signaled out Latin America for its widespread availability of counterfeit goods. Three countries -- Venezuela, Argentina, and Chile -- were placed on the report's Priority Watch List, which names major US trading partners that have significantly failed to combat piracy, counterfeiting, and patent issues.

Another 10 countries -- Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, and Paraguay -- were classified as less serious offenders, but were still criticized for failing to do more to enforce intellectual property laws.

InSight Crime Analysis

The global market in counterfeit goods has an estimated worth of some $250 billion a year, according to think-tank Global Financial Integrity. It is considered a significant enough public security problem in the region that Interpol recently announced a mass crackdown on the trade across North, Central, and South America, which has resulted in the arrests of some 200 people and the seizure of $30 million worth in products so far.

For the most part, the Chamber of Commerce report criticizes Latin America for not doing enough on the law enforcement side to address the counterfeit trade. Brazil is signaled out as having made significant progress, for seizing some $1 billion worth of pirated and counterfeit goods in 2011, and closing down hundreds of shops that sell such items.

The report notes that intellectual property enforcement agencies in countries like the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Colombia face a lack of resources and poorly trained staff. This is a problem that these countries' governments are unlikely to prioritize anytime soon, as other law enforcement agencies -- particularly those concerned with violent crimes -- present more pressing needs for funding and support.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.