The case of Odebrecht in which 10 Latin American countries were involved is not the only corruption scandal in the region
In recent years, the public debate in Latin America has been framed by the multiple corruption scandals that have exploded in several countries, delegitimizing governments and showing a reality that the governments persists in hiding. The Odebrecht scandal is perhaps the biggest corruption incident that has broken out in Latin America recently. This case involved several heads and former heads of state and government of the region, either for the bribes received to award contracts for public works favoring this company or because it financed the campaigns of several of them.
The repercussions of Odebrecht reached countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. In addition, it involved several presidents, among whom are Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who had to resign, Michel Temer, Juan Manuel Santos, Mauricio Macri and Juan Carlos Varela.
According to the BBC, in the case of the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, the country's press said that the possible entry of Odebrecht money to finance his presidential campaign was being investigated. This same media also explained that Mauricio Macri's connection to the Odebrecht scandal was made through the head of the Federal Intelligence Agency of Argentina (AFI, by its acronym in Spanish), Gustavo Arribas. Arribas was accused of receiving 750 billion dollars from the Brazilian company.
It is not just Odebrecht
While it is true that the Odebrecht scandal is the most well-known and relevant case of corruption, it is not the only one in which Latin American presidents and heads of state have been involved. Cases of conflict of interest, money laundering and illicit financing of electoral campaigns by businessmen are also part of those events that have led several presidents of the region to be involved or investigated for corruption.
El País of Uruguay, for example, highlighted how the president of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, has been questioned by an alleged case of conflict of interests. This refers to the purchase that his wife made of a house worth 7 million dollars, which was built by the Grupo Higa, one of the companies that won the bidding of a train and 22 public works contracts by the Mexican government. Likewise, the prosecutor who carries out the investigation for the money laundering operation, known internationally as Lava Jato, said that he "does not rule out" linking the current president of Paraguay, Horacio Cartes, to this process.
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The Brazilian prosecutor Stanley Valeriano Da Silva is in charge of investigating the businessman Darío Messer, who is said to have handled irregularly around 1,600 million dollars that circulated from Brazil to Paraguay, from Paraguay to Uruguay, according to paraguay.com. The same media mentions that the prosecutor Da Silva considers that Cartes is not exempt from the list of persons that can be investigated. Therefore, he does not rule out that the Paraguayan head of state is also linked to Lava Jato's investigation.
Finally, the work of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG, by its acronym in Spanish) and the Public Prosecutor of this country made it possible to discover a case of illicit financing that favored the campaign of the current president, Jimmy Morales, in 2015. This financing was given by a group of businessmen who gave money to Morales's party. This to bring electoral prosecutors to several polling stations during the last presidential elections, to benefit the current Guatemalan president.
This information was confirmed by the same businessmen, who after the announcement of the CICIG and the Public Prosecutor said that, in effect, they had given resources to the FCN-Nación party. According to the Prensa Libre portal, this was done with the purpose of facilitating the mobilization of the electoral prosecutors.
LatinAmerican Post | Samuel Augusto Gallego Suárez
Translated from "Desde México hasta Paraguay, estos son algunos de los casos de corrupción más sonados"