Transparency International scrutinises Latin American units of companies linked to Petrobras scandal

Issued by Transparency International Secretariat



Translations: PT | ES


Transparency International, the global anti-corruption movement, announced today that it will look into the operations of Brazilian construction companies linked to the Petrobras scandal in seven countries: Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Venezuela.

As investigations in Brazil continue to uncover links between major construction companies and corruption in Petrobras, Transparency International will look into whether the companies are following the same business model of bribe paying and cartel arrangements in other countries where they have significant operations.

For example, in Venezuela alone, four of the companies under investigation in Brazil received over thirty contracts from the government in recent years. A preliminary investigation by Transparencia Venezuela shows delayed contracts, opaque accounting and suspicion of political influence in the awarding of contracts worth millions.

Transparency International - through its national chapters in Argentina, Chile, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Peru and Venezuela - is submitting access to information requests to those governments in order to review and analyse the contracts awarded to the companies in the last decade. In partnership with investigative journalists, Transparency International will identify potential irregularities in the coming weeks and verify the state of progress of the huge infrastructure projects associated with them.

These projects include transport systems, infrastructure for provision of basic services and others that have a direct impact on the quality of life of millions of families in Latin America. Citizens have a right to know about the progress of these construction works under development.

“The corruption scandal surrounding Petrobras is one of the biggest that we have seen in the region, not only because of the amounts of money involved and the linkages between the political and business elites but also because of the damage this corrupt system did to the entire Brazilian society. Some brave Brazilian prosecutors and federal police officers, a judge, and several journalists, are now making a tremendous effort to end impunity for the corrupt perpetrators. Transparency International wants to help ensure that those responsible face justice, be it in Brazil or elsewhere in the region,” said Alejandro Salas, Regional Director for the Americas at Transparency International.

If Transparency International’s research unearths irregularities, raises the suspicion of cartel arrangements or undue influence by politicians on the granting of contracts, we will provide all the information to the relevant authorities and call on them to open formal investigations and report publicly on their findings. Transparency International will also provide information to prosecutors where investigations are already taking place, such as in Peru and Brazil.

“All in all, we are asking for simple accountability. We don’t know what we will find, but given what the Petrobras scandal has revealed and the cost of the infrastructure projects, it is fair to demand transparency. We need systemic changes that will prevent such corruption scandals from happening again,” said Salas.

All of the seven countries have ratified the United Nations Convention Against Corruption which includes provisions related to mutual legal assistance (art. 46) and joint investigations (art. 49), that obliges signatory states to cooperate internationally on cross-border corruption investigations.


For any press enquiries please contact

Transparency International Secretariat
Natalie Baharav
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +49 30 343820 666

Argentina
Poder Ciudadano
Pablo Secchi
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +5491151147200

Chile
Chile Transparente
Cesar Iribarren
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Dominican Republic
Participación Ciudadana
Carlos Pimentel
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Guatemala
Acción Ciudadana
Gabriela Ayerdi
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +502 2388 3400

Panama
Fundación para el Desarrollo de la Libertad Ciudadana
Carlos Gasnell
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Peru
Proetica
Mali Esparza
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Venezuela
Transparencia Venezuela
Maria Antonieta Pérez
E: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
T: +582125760863

Latest

Support Transparency International

Risk of impunity increases with outcome of Portuguese-Angolan corruption trial

A verdict last week by the Lisbon Court of Appeals in the trial of former Angolan vice president Manuel Vicente has disappointed hopes for a triumph of legal due process over politics and impunity. It also has worrying implications for the independence of Portugal’s judiciary.

The UK just made it harder for the corrupt to hide their wealth offshore

If counted together, the United Kingdom and its Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies would rank worst in the world for financial secrecy. Fortunately, this could soon change.

The new IMF anti-corruption framework: 3 things we’ll be looking for a year from now

Last Sunday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) unveiled its long-awaited framework for “enhanced” engagement with countries on corruption and governance issues. Here are three aspects we at Transparency International will be looking at closely in coming months as the new policy is rolled out.

While the G20 drags its feet, the corrupt continue to benefit from anonymous company ownership

The corrupt don’t like paper trails, they like secrecy. What better way to hide corrupt activity than with a secret company or trust as a front? You can anonymously open bank accounts, make transfers and launder dirty money. If the company is not registered in your name, it can't always be traced back to you.

Urging leaders to act against corruption in the Americas

The hot topic at the 2018 Summit of the Americas is how governments can combat corruption at the highest levels across North and South America.

The impact of land corruption on women: insights from Africa

As part of International Women’s Day, Transparency International is launching the Women, Land and Corruption resource book. This is a collection of unique articles and research findings that describe and analyse the prevalence of land corruption in Africa – and its disproportionate effect on women – presented together with innovative responses from organisations across the continent.

Passport dealers of Europe: navigating the Golden Visa market

Coast or mountains? Real estate or business investment? Want your money back in five years? If you're rich, there are an array of options for European ‘Golden Visas’ at your fingertips, each granting EU residence or citizenship rights.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media