Transparency International Brazil today presents new information for tracking the progress of grand corruption cases in Latin America involving Brazilian civil construction company Odebrecht. The data was compiled in a joint project between Transparency International Brazil, Proética (TI Peru) and JOTA, a journalism start-up focused on the Brazilian judiciary. The project also had the help of Digesto, a company that processes and analyses data on millions of Brazilian legal procedures.
The database contains information about requests for information from Brazilian authorities made by the nine other Latin American countries mentioned in the company’s plea deal testimonies: Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.
Visit the database: https://www.jota.info/tudo-sobre/lava-jato-around-the-world
In 2017 and 2018, the nine countries sent 118 requests to Brazilian authorities. Peru alone was responsible for more than half of the requests made, with a total of 68. Guatemala and Venezuela sent only one request each. This could indicate a low level of investigative activities in these countries, which would represent a real risk of impunity for the grave crimes uncovered by the Operation Carwash investigation.
“Progress on the grand corruption cases involving Odebrecht’s activities in Latin America have been rather uneven and, generally speaking, insufficient. This is reflected in the number of requests for information received by Brazil," said Fabiano Angélico, a senior consultant Transparency International Brazil, who led the project. “Although there are other avenues available to prosecutors in Latin American countries, Brazil is where the investigations into Odebrecht’s schemes are concentrated, so one important indicator of the progress made is precisely the amount of cooperation requests received,” Angélico added.
Maíra Martini, Knowledge Coordinator at Transparency International, said: “Whether we are talking about money laundering through European banks, bribes to politicians for infrastructure contracts in Latin America, or investigations into the real owners of offshore companies involved in such schemes, mutual legal assistance in absolutely essential for combatting corruption in today’s globalised economy.” Noting that the Brazilian experts involved in the new study found that international cooperation efforts have encountered various technical, legal and political challenges to efficient execution, Martini added: “Law enforcement agencies should be working to establish frameworks for sharing information with other countries in advance, so they aren’t caught flat-footed when the next corruption scandal breaks.”
As well as data on bilateral cooperation request and agreements, visitors to the new platform will be able to access relevant court documents, transcribed videos of testimonies, lists of public contracts with possible irregularities, and the names of former Odebrecht employees who were linked to cases in each country and whether they cooperated with investigations.
The database is available online at https://www.jota.info/tudo-sobre/lava-jato-around-the-world.
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