Prosecutors from 15 countries must act quickly to bring the corrupt to justice in Lava Jato scandal

Transparency International calls for prosecutors to set up a regional task force to coordinate investigations

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Transparency International and its chapters in Latin America call on the prosecutors from the 15 countries involved in the Lava Jato corruption scandal, meeting in Brazil this week, to take strong steps to bring the guilty to justice. 

The Lava Jato scandal involves a network of more than twenty corporations, including construction giant Odebrecht, that bribed public officials to win contracts in Latin America, Angola and Mozambique.

The meeting in Brasilia, convened by the Brazilian Prosecutor General, comes in the wake of a US$3.5 billion settlement reached between US, Brazilian and Swiss prosecutors and Odebrecht.

“The Brasilia meeting presents a tremendous opportunity to tackle grand corruption in a meaningful, global way. The prosecutors should use this opportunity to share experiences, strategies and information in order to improve their work. In each country people are demanding the same kind of results that prosecutors in Brazil have achieved,” said José Ugaz, Chair of Transparency International.

“Prosecutors should explore creating a joint investigative task force on a global scale, focussed on offshore schemes and money laundering. A more efficient and coordinated investigation is key to dismantling the corrupt systems that perpetuate poverty and inequality in Latin America and Africa,” said Ugaz.

Transparency International’s chapters in the Americas are making five key recommendations:

Transparency International strongly supports the adoption of the ten measures against corruption presented by the Brazilian prosecutors to Congress but not yet approved. Transparency International encourages all the prosecutors to make a collective request to the Brazilian Congress to approve these measures, which are indispensable to avoid impunity and assure a positive outcome of these investigations. 

The Odebrecht investigation exposed a financial network involving shell companies and several banks to funnel more than US$788 million dollars in bribes to corrupt government officials and political parties and their leaders in Angola, Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

Odebrecht’s Division of Structured Operations – called a “Department of Bribery” by the US Department of Justice – systematically undermined the integrity of government officials across Latin America and in Angola and Mozambique.

Transparency International chapters and partners in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela are monitoring the progress of investigations in their respective countries.

Editor's note: This press release was amended on 16 February 2017 to correct the number of countries sending representatives to the meeting in Brazil.


For any press enquiries please contact

Natalie Baharav
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 30 34 38 20 666

Latest

Support Transparency International

The terrible consequences of police corruption in South Africa

What do we do when those mandated to protect us are serving other interests than public safety and security? In South Africa, police corruption leaves the public exposed to high rates of crime, and causes distrust of the police service while allowing crime to flourish.

Why do DRC citizens report such high levels of corruption?

People's experiences with corruption in the DRC are far worse than in most other African countries. Why is corruption so prevalent in the DRC, why is bribery so commonplace and why do two thirds of citizens feel powerless?

Is Mauritius at a tipping point in the fight against corruption?

According to the latest GCB for Africa, very few Mauritians who accessed public services, like health care and education, had to pay a bribe for those services. But given recent scandals, citizens still see certain groups and institutions as corrupt.

Protecting Africa’s wildlife from corruption

When they deliberate over amendments to the global wildlife trade regime, CoP18 must address impunity for illegal timber trafficking in Africa as a matter of high priority.

How the US can help Mongolia get to grips with corruption

A series of bi-lateral meetings and a proposed trade agreement present an opportunity for the US to promote rule of law and an independent judiciary in Mongolia.

Blood diamonds and land corruption in Sierra Leone

A community in Sierra Leone has created powerful short videos documenting their experiences of corruption, forced evictions and a botched resettlement programme at the hands of a multinational diamond mining company.

Countries must be more transparent when investigating transnational corruption

Supervisory and justice systems should be transparent and accountable so that the public can assess their performance.

Resilient institutions

Reducing corruption is an important component of the sustainable development agenda, and one that all state parties have an obligation to address. Although corruption is often thought of as a ‘third-world problem’, institutions in the Global North play an important role in the corruption cycle, and are therefore an essential part of the solutions.

In whose interest? Political integrity and corruption in Africa

What accounts for the wide disparity in peoples’ perceptions of the integrity of elected representatives in different countries? In this piece, we will to look at various forms of political corruption, how they manifest in African countries and what can be done to promote political integrity.

Cidadãos opinam sobre a corrupção em África

A décima edição do Barómetro Global de Corrupção (GCB) – África revela que embora a maioria das pessoas na África acreditem que os níveis de corrupção aumentaram no seu país, elas também se sentem otimistas, pois acreditam que os cidadãos podem fazer a diferença no combate à corrupção.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media