September 26, 2017 |
Graft is hardly new in Latin America, but a widening bribery scandal has captured the public’s attention since December last year, when the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht confessed to making nearly $800 million in illegal payments to government officials and agreed to hand over at least $3.5 billion in fines.
Odebrecht’s admission spawned more investigations around the region, causing turmoil at high levels of business and government in a number of countries. By mid-July, Peruvian authorities had arrested one former president and sought the extradition of another one because of alleged ties to Odebrecht. Colombia arrested a senator close to President Juan Manuel Santos in August,
In the wake of the Odebrecht bribery scandal, governments across the region are overhauling the way they award and oversee new projects