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in Venezuela, US$ 98 million was paid in bribes. Odebrecht, the Brazilian
construction giant, not only admitted having bought officials in its country
—what had been revealing in the investigations of prosecutors and judges, but
that outside Brazil, the Bolivarian Republic was the place where it paid the
most bribes to get the best contracts.
years ago, the Lava Jato Operation ("Carwash" in Portuguese) has shaken
the foundations of the Brazilian establishment. In July 2013, the Federal Police
of Brazil tracked the suspicious movements of a man called Alberto Youssef, and
by pulling that thread, not only did it find one of the commission agents - the
infamous doleiros [black market dollar dealers] - but a cartel of
businessmen and political leaders who managed the monopoly of state contracts.
But it was not until last Wednesday that some of Odebrecht's management abroad
came to light not exactly from Brasilia, but in New York.
company Odebrecht and its petrochemical arm, Braskem, pleaded guilty before the
court of the Eastern District of New York for paying bribes of US$ 349 million
in Brazil and another 439 million in a circuit of 11 countries, including Africa
with Angola and Mozambique, and Latin America with Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador,
Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic and, of course,
Venezuela, where they spent nearly a quarter of the total spent