The bribery or bribery as is known refers to the offer , the delivery , the request or receipt of any item of value as a means of influence on the actions that have or may have an individual who has a public or legal duty. This type of action results in a situation that must be handled objectively and responsibly for decision-making. Bribery is a crime and both the bidder and the recipient can be criminally charged .

What is bribery?

Bribery is a situation considered as a crime in which the delivery of a bribe is made to corrupt a person and thus be able to obtain a favor or an advantage on their part, be it money, gifts or goods.

  • What is bribery?
  • When is it a crime
  • Types of bribery
  • Elements
  • How it differs from concussion
  • Criminal code by country
  • Examples of bribery

What is bribery?

Bribery consists of offering , giving , receiving or requesting something of value with the purpose of being able to influence the action taken by an official in the exercise of his public or legal duties . It is important to emphasize that the expectation of a particular voluntary action in exchange for a benefit is what makes the difference between a bribe and a private display of goodwill. Regardless of who initiates the deal, either party to an act of bribery can be found guilty of the crime regardless of the other.


When is it a crime

Bribery is considered a criminal act that goes against the public administration at the moment in which the authority or a public official or an individual , for his own benefit or that of a third party , performs the following actions or omissions:

  • When the authority receives or request or receive , directly or by an intermediary a gift or present or accepts an offer or promise to perform in the exercise of their office action or omission constituting the offense .
  • The authority or public official who requests or receives a gift or promise for executing an unjust act related to the exercise of his office that does not constitute a crime .
  • The authority or public official who, received or promised a gift , refrains from performing an act that he should practice in his office.
  • When people who with gifts, presents, offers or promises corrupt the authorities or public officials .

Types of bribery

There are several types of bribery, among which we can mention the following:

  • Active bribery : it is when the crime is carried out from the perspective of the private third party , which is why the individual who offers or gives a gift of any other kind to a public official is punished for him to carry out an action contrary to his duties.
  • Passive bribery : this type is valued from the point of view of the authority , public official or person exercising public function when they request or receive from a third party a gift of any kind to perform an act in the exercise of their position contrary to their duties or not to perform or to unreasonably delay what should be done.
  • Inappropriate Passive Bribery : the crime is committed when the public official for his own benefit or that of a third party asks for gifts to carry out an act of his office.
  • Improper bribery : the gift is given in consideration of the position exhibited by the official. You have nothing to do or stop doing.


The intention is one of the elements that must be established to prove the crime of bribery . Corrupt intent is the intent to receive a specific benefit in exchange for payment . The intention to seize the opportunity to perform a public act and acquire a personal benefit or advantage illegally from the person receiving the bribe amounts to an attempt at corruption.

Another element required to constitute the crime of bribery is that a bribe must involve something of value that is used to influence the action or non-acquisition by the recipient. However, the bribe does not necessarily have to be in the form of money. It is sufficient if the recipient gets something of value to himself from the bribe .

How it differs from concussion

It differs from the concussion in that it occurs when a public servant or official abuses his position or his functions with the aim of inducing another person to promise or to give this same official or a third party , money or utilities. Use phrases such as: “we are going to see how we benefit” , “we are going to see how we collaborate” .

Criminal code by country

  • Argentina : Article 256 of the Penal Code does not require that the act be “proper” to the specific function of the official who receives the gift but only “relative” to such functions and that it may affect the legal right protected by the Criminal Law by repressing crimes against public administration.
  • Chile : bribery is seen as a crime committed by a public employee who requests or accepts to receive an undue economic benefit or “ bribe ” to carry out an act of his / her position, for omitting it, for infringing his / her duties, for exercising influence or committing a civil servant offense and is found in articles 248, 248 bis, 249 of the Penal Code .
  • Colombia : whoever gives or offers money or another utility to a public servant , in the cases provided for in the two previous articles, will incur in prison from forty-eight to one hundred eight months, a fine of sixty-six point sixty-six to one hundred fifty salaries. monthly legal minimums in force, and disqualification for the exercise of rights and public functions from eighty to one hundred and forty-four months.
  • Mexico : it is stipulated in article 222 which says that they commit the crime of bribery: the public servant who by himself, or through an interposed person, requests or receives unduly for himself or for another, money or any other gift , or accepts a promise, to do or stop doing something fair or unfair related to their duties, and who spontaneously gives or offers money or any other gift to any of the people mentioned in the previous section, for any public servant to do or omit a fair or unfair act related to its functions.

Examples of bribery

Some examples of bribery in the public sphere are the following:

  • When the traffic officer receives the money that an individual gives him so that he can pass a driving test.
  • When money is given to a public official and he accepts it so that the papers you need are drawn more quickly.
  • When a percentage of money is given to the buyer of a company to buy only your products.

Examples between individuals

  • When money is offered to an acquaintance to run a series of errands for you more quickly.
  • When you pay a classmate to do your homework.

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