MercadoLibre (NASDAQ:MELI) is far and away the largest e-commerce company in Latin America. But its success has attracted attention, and competition is ramping up. Does the company have a defensible position against newcomers to the region? It does. In this segment from "The 5" on Motley Fool Live recorded Sept. 30 , contributor Brian Withers talks about the reasons he likes MercadoLibre for the long term.

Brian Withers: I think about the company that I guess I'll pick for the moat question is MercadoLibre, and I'll pick it for a couple of reasons.

First of all, it got to the table before anybody else did. They were the first cross-regional player in Latin America. If you look at Amazon, they are in Brazil and now Mexico. They're really not in all the different countries that MercadoLibre is. Sea Limited is coming in and then starting to hit a couple of countries. But MercadoLibre has been there since 1999.

It's still founder-led, and four of the five C-suite members have been there since 2000, so within a year of the company getting started. Not to mention the whole C-suite lives in the region and are citizens of the region, a couple of them have been country managers. Not only is the founder is still there, but the founding team is still there.

It's invested heavily in its software infrastructure, its physical distribution, and it's got a great popular payments system to boot. There isn't one thing, there's a bunch of things. I think that's what to me, that's part of why MercadoLibre is my number one position, is I feel it's got all these things going for it.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.