Odebrecht scandal brings new names to light

28 May 2017

Every week brings further evidence to light in the chain of corruption stemming from the activities of Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant. On 25 May, lawyer José Francisco Zaragoza Amiel was released from prison after agreeing to collaborate with the judicial authorities by giving information on those with whom he colluded in setting up a money laundering network for Cuzco Governor Jorge Acurio. Acurio, who is himself in prison, is accused of having received a US$1.25 million bribe to award a road building contract to Odebrecht.

Zaragoza’s information also implicates Gustavo Salazar Delgado, a businessman and sportsman who, until his recent suspension, was president of Lima’s elite Club Regattas. Salazar’s lawyer has declared that his client is on his way back to Lima and that he will most probably collaborate with the judiciary in providing information.

What this shows is that the information on the bribery provided by Jorge Barata and Marcelo Odebrecht is probably conclusive enough to bring down other key establishment figures. Odebrecht has already declared that he provided funds for the presidential campaigns of Keiko Fujimori and Mercedes Aráoz in 2011, as well as that of Ollanta Humala. Aráoz, who finally withdrew as the APRA candidate in 2011, is currently second vice-president of Peru. These payments have so far received only scant attention as the evidence has proved rather more tenuous.

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