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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Tension is high in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, as close to eighty executives from the Odebrecht Group are expected to sign, starting Thursday, November 24th, plea bargaining agreements related to the Operação Lava Jato (Car Wash Operation) scandal. According to local news outlets, the agreements could include the incrimination of as many as two hundred politicians from all political parties for corruption graft.

Marcelo Odebrecht, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Marcelo Odebrecht, once head of one of Brazil’s largest construction companies now in jail for money laundering, photo internet recreation.

“I believe that Congress will be shaken up,” Chamber Representative Alessandro Molon told Globonews late on Wednesday, November 23rd. “There is great tension here in the Chamber, much apprehension, and [the plea bargains] has affected some of the Chamber’s voting schedule.”

One of the most anticipated agreements will be that of the former CEO, who headed the family business, Marcelo Odebrecht. The executive, in jail since June of 2015, has been sentenced to nineteen years and four months in prison for crimes of passive corruption, criminal association and money laundering in the Lava Jato scandal.

Marcelo Odebrecht’s name has been linked to bribes allegedly paid to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and former Chief of Staff under impeached President Dilma Rousseff, Antonio Palocci. Odebrecht executives and mid-level managers are expected to disclose the names of politicians and Petrobras employees who received bribes to help the construction conglomerate win million-dollar contracts.

Due to the number of executives signing individual leniency agreements, the conclusion of the plea agreement statements should take more than a month. Negotiations between Odebrecht employees and Brazil’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office for these plea agreements took eight months. The fines to be paid in the plea bargaining agreements are said to be the largest in the world, totaling R$7 billion (US$2.5 billion).

The issue of how much of the fine will be paid to Brazilian authorities and how much will go to the United States and Switzerland, however, needs to be resolved. The two foreign countries are also seeking restitution claiming the mega construction company also committed crimes on their soil.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Lisa Alves,
    I like your writing. Your articles are short, factual, not political or ideological, and the English is always perfect. Such a contrast to the so-called journalists in the USA. Isn’t it ironic, that a Carioca, writing for an English language version of a Brazilian publication, writes in English better than most native born Norte-Americanos!

  2. The dam is about to burst. Once the agreed plea bargains take effect everyone will be fair game. It will be extremely interesting to see who, if anyone, is left unaffected. When the dust finally settles even the most skeptical and critical of government corruption will be shocked. The repercussions will be long term and have a lasting effect upon the Brazilian political scene for years to come.

    Lisa Alves, is a consummate professional and reflects the quality of the writing staff and reporting contributors, The Rio Times utilizes, in providing a vital English language Brazilian news publication.

    Regardless of whether native Brazilian or foreign contributors, their main goal is the betterment of Brazil and the honest reporting on behalf of the Brazilian populace. Various opinions and observations from all parties bode well for the future of Brazilian society and social justice.

    The public service that The Rio Times provides cannot be underestimated or underappreciated.

  3. I probably missed this in an earlier edition but I have always been curious how the name “Lava Jato” or “car wash” became associated with this criminal enterprise.

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