Odebrecht, an earthquake for Peru

The scandal erupted when the confessions of officials of the Brazilian construction company were known about the bribes paid by the company to several peruvian government officials. There are doubts about the results of the research.

An earthquake with epicenter in Brazil threatens to have catastrophic effects for the discredited peruvian political class. An earthquake that can be carried ahead of more than one former president. The incumbent, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, could also end up among his victims.

The scandal erupted when the confessions made by officials of Brazilian construction company Odebrecht about bribes paid by the company in a dozen countries, including Peru, were known. In the peruvian case, the bribes confessed are at least 29 million dollars. The accusations involve several governments.

The prosecution investigates the case and Congress has formed a commission to see these allegations. There are serious doubts about the results that can be given by the parliamentary commission, which is presided over by Alberto Albrecht, who has opened a judicial investigation for corruption, and is composed of several parliamentarians committed to the various governments involved in this corruption case, with more interest to protect the leaders of their political groupings than to investigate.

The confessions of the paid bribes came after an agreement with the authorities of Brazil, the United States and Switzerland, in which the construction company pleaded guilty to the payment of fines and its officials accepted a collective process of disclosure about their Illegal operations in different countries, in order to avoid jail or reduce their sentences.

The US and Swiss authorities have intervened because the money for the payment of bribes went through banks in those countries.

With bribes paid in Peru the company made sure to win public works public offers and obtain the complicity of officials of several governments to overvalue those works and illegally increase their profits. According to a first estimate by the Comptroller of the Republic (Peru), made on 16 of the 23 projects executed by the Brazilian construction company in Peru between 1998 and 2015, the damage caused by this company to the peruvian State is 283 million Dollars.

The known delinquencies in a US Department of Justice report cover only the period between 2005 and 2014. The payment in those years of $ 29 million in bribes involves three governments: Alejandro Toledo (2001-2006), Alan Garcia ( 2006-2011) and Ollanta Humala (2011-2016).

These are the bribes revealed, but the figure could be significantly higher if you take into account that between those years the Brazilian company won public offers for about twenty public works for just over 12.6 billion dollars.

The largest amount corresponds to the construction of a gas pipeline for more than seven billion dollars, a work delivered to Odebrecht in the Humala government and not yet begun.

The scandal has also sprinkled President Kuczynski, who was Minister of Economy and President of the Council of Ministers during the Toledo administration, and then signed a disputed law that favored Odebrecht, allowing him to participate in public offers of national construction.

Although the company had an open judicial process, something that the law prohibited. In this case, the Office of the Prosecutor has included the current president in a judicial investigation.

In Argentina the head of the Intelligence Agency is committed.

The head of the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI), Gustavo Arribas, is a man of extreme confidence from President Mauricio Macri. (Image: DyN)

The head of the Federal Intelligence Agency (AFI), Gustavo Arribas, is a man of extreme confidence from President Mauricio Macri.
(Image: DyN)

The head of the Federal Intelligence Agency, Gustavo Arribas, yesterday added a new criminal complaint against him. He was accused by members of the Argentine Congress. The Justice will have to investigate the payment of 600 thousand dollars to Arribas by an operator of the construction company Odebrecht, Leonardo Meirelles, sentenced to five years in prison for the payment of fines in the context of the Lava Jato case in Brazil.

Arribas remains in office. But President Macri ordered him to quickly clarify his situation before the judicial courts.

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