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Region: Odebrecht bribery scandal spreads throughout LA

 |  February 14, 2017

The network of corruption built by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht has been revealed to extend to nearly a dozen Latin American countries. The network, meant to secure valuable public construction contracts by manipulating contests, has shined a fresh spotlight on the corruption that continues to permeate the region.

Odebrecht has been accused in Brazil of bribing vast numbers of the country’s political class to secure contracts with the State oil company, Petrobras. Recent revelations have also uncovered the payment of $20 million USD to Peru’s former president, Alejandro Toledo, who has been issued a pre-emptive arrest warrant. The scandal has now also reached Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, after former congressman Otto Bula made declarations regarding the construction company’s unknown contributions to Santos’ campaigns.

Justice officials from ten countries, from Mexico down to Argentina and including Peru, Panama and Uruguay, have reached out to Brazil’s prosecutors to begin local investigations on Odebrecht’s contracts. The company is believed to have run its “massive corruption scheme” for over a decade, dishing out an estimated $800 million USD in bribes to government officials “across three continents”, as noted by the US Department of Justice.

Full Content: El Deber

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