Peru’s Government Looks to Break Odebrecht’s Influence

(Photo: America Noticias/Facebook)

As former President Ollanta Humala awaits trial in jail for Odebrecht scandal, Peru and other Latin American countries have taken steps to break the Brazilian company’s powerful influence.

Yesterday, President Ollanta Humala and his spouse were preventively jailed for 18 months to await trial for corruption charges involving illegal donations from the construction company Odebrecht.  Reuters reports that Odebrecht has given million of dollars in bribes throughout Latin American countries.  

In recent weeks, Peru’s government has taken a number of actions related to the scandal.

Since last year, Odebrecht has been officially barred from new contract auctions after scandals were discovered.  In addition to this ban, Peru’s government has revoked a US$ 5 billion contract with the Brazilian construction company to build a 1134 km (705 miles) natural gas pipeline.  The project will be newly auctioned in 2018.

Peruvian authorities have also frozen US$ 7.7 million in assets held by those who received bribes from Odebrecht, including ex-President Alejandro Toledo.  Toledo currently resides in the United States, claiming his innocence and refusing to return despite orders for preventive arrest.  Requests for extradition by Peru to the United States have not yet been successful.

This week, a number of other countries have taken steps against Odebrecht including Mexico, Venezuela, and Argentina through termination of contracts, seeking prosecution, or implementing bans.

Will Peru and other Latin American countries be able to break Odebrecht’s influence?

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Mike Dreckschmidt

Mike grew up and eventually attended university in Green Bay, Wisconsin. He graduated in Integrative Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Urban and Regional Planning and has been a part of planning projects in three different countries. Mike’s passion is reading; he devours both literature and nonfiction. His favorite author is Peru’s own Julio Ramón Ribeyro.