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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The government of Panama released a statement on Tuesday that Brazil’s Odebrecht conglomerate would have to compensate the country for the damages caused and would ‘take the necessary actions to prohibit the Odebrecht Group from obtaining any contract in future public bidding processes’.

Brazil, Panama Canal,The government of Panama has taken Odebrecht out of the list of participants for the bid to construct a bridge in the Panama Canal,
The government of Panama has taken Odebrecht out of the list of participants for the bid to construct a bridge in the Panama Canal, photo courtesy of FAEP/Parana.

The multinational Brazilian conglomerate is accused of paying US$59 million in bribes to Panamanian officials to obtain construction contracts.

“Their [Odebrecht] future participation will require a report from each entity with which there are works in execution on their compliance with the contracted terms, which must be endorsed by the Comptroller General of the Republic,” said the statement issued by the Latin American country.

According to the document the Panamanian government will also adopt measures to prohibit Odebrecht from obtaining contracts for future public bidding processes until demonstrating an “effective and efficient” collaboration in the investigations being carried out and guaranteeing the payment of the sums to be paid as restitution to the State.

The conglomerate is currently bidding to design and construct a bridge in the Panama Canal and a metro line in country’s capital, Panama City. According to AFP reports, the Panamanian government will also cancel a contract with Odebrecht for the construction of a hydroelectric plant.

The U.S. Department of Justice between 2010 and 2014 reported the Brazilian group paid more than US$59 million in bribes to Panamanian officials to close contracts totaling US$175 million.

According to reports, among those favored by the bribes are be two children of former Panama president Ricardo Martinelli who have said to have received US$6 million in exchange of their father’s ‘help’ to favor Odebrecht in contracts in the country.

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