LATIN-AMERICA

Colombia’s president investigated again in Odebrecht probe

BOGOTÁ – Colombian authorities reopened the investigation against President Juan Manuel Santos, who they allege was involved in corruption related to Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht.

Authorities in Colombia started again to investigate President Santos. They accuse him of having received and used improper donations from Odebrecht for his re-election campaign in 2010, CNN Chile reported. Businessman Roberto Prieto will have to give testimony since he participated in Santos’ campaign. The director of taxes and customs Santiago Rojas and ex-senator Otto Bula will also testify.

The testimonies of Prieto, Rojas and Bula will be vital to throw light on the source of money used during the Santos campaign, which the Brazilian conglomerate allegedly helped finance in exchange for lucrative state contracts. Investigator Nicolas Guerrero told RCN news: “We are going to restart the investigation in terms of the infiltration of resources from Odebrecht that could have reached – or not – Santos’ election campaign.” The amount of ill-gotten money could be around US$450.000, according to Guerrero.

Odebrecht is today one of the most important conglomerates worldwide. The multinational has business in engineering and construction as well as in chemical and petrochemical products. Following revelations about Odebrecht corruption, several governments and enterprises in Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Colombia, and Venezuela have come under pressure. Politicians involved in the scandal have been accused of receiving bribes to secure around 100 projects in 12 countries.

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