Government starts looking at Odebrecht bribes in Mexico

Attorney General Raul Cervantes flew to Brazil to meet with prosecutors there, seeking more information about the corrupt activities of Odebrecht, the Brazilian contractor,  in Mexico.  While the Odebrecht scandals have led to major investigations in Peru and Colombia, in addition to Brazil, the interest to date of the Mexican authorities has been minimal.  This despite the very clear description included in Odebrecht’s plea bargain with the U.S. Department of Justice that was made public by DOJ in December:

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While the time frame includes both the Calderón and Peña Nieto governments, the specific information relates to events under Peña Nieto, and could only involve Pemex or CFE (“a Mexican state-owned and state-controlled company”).  The number of individuals at these companies who could have influenced the assigning of large contracts is very small.

Columnist Raymundo Riva Palacios noted:  “What’s happened with Odebrecht’s corruption in Mexico is a mystery.  [The company] stopped trying to reach a plea agreement with the Justice Ministry, but they haven’t had any problem continuing to work in the country.  In any event, in contrast to what is happening in Latin America where more politicians are showing up as involved in its corruption, in Mexico nothing happens.”


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