By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday (February 16th) Brazil’s Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF) signed an agreement with nine Latin American countries and Portugal to investigate Odebrecht. Until now it is the largest international collaboration agreement related to Operation Lava Jato (Car Wash).
According to government news sources, the document stipulates that bilateral and multilateral research teams be set up to investigate the giant multinational construction firm Odebrecht.
The document highlights the Java Lato plea deal agreement signed by Odebrecht with the MPF to attain testimony of 78 former executives and employees of the company, which has a confidentiality clause in force until June 1, 2017.
In addition to Brazil’s chief prosecutor, Rodrigo Janot, the attorney generals of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Ecuador, Panama, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Portugal signed the agreement.
In at least four Latin American countries – Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela and Peru – investigations against Odebrecht have already generated consequences such as the arrest of suspects.
Among the jail-terms enacted, is the former president of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, accused of receiving about US$20 million in bribes linked to the construction of a highway.
In early January, Odebrecht entered into a collaboration agreement with Peruvian officials, in which it agreed to return R$30 million to the country’s public coffers for illicit gains.
In December, in a joint agreement between the company, Brazil, the United States and Switzerland, Odebrecht admitted paying more than US$1 billion worth of packages to officials and government officials from at least twelve countries.