Latin American officials in trouble

President Michel Temer.
President Michel Temer.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Mr Alejandro Toledo.
Mr Alejandro Toledo.


Investigators allege that Latin America's largest construction company Odebrecht paid US$35 million (S$50 million) to husband-and-wife successive presidents Nestor and Cristina Kirchner.

Mr Gustavo Arribas, head of the Argentinian Federal Intelligence Agency, a close ally of current President Mauricio Macri, is being investigated for a US$600,000 payment.


There are allegations that President Michel Temer and his Brazilian Democratic Movement Party were in a corruption network linking Odebrecht and state oil company Petrobras. Current and previous Speakers of the Senate and House of Representatives are also implicated. Former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is alleged to be the mastermind of the Petrobras graft scheme.


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos' electoral campaign allegedly received US$1 million from Odebrecht. Attorney-General Nestor Humberto Martinez has said some of the US$4.6 million that Odebrecht paid a former senator might have gone to Mr Santos' 2014 re-election campaign.

Mr Gabriel Garcia Morales, deputy transport minister under former president Alvaro Uribe, has been arrested for taking US$6.5 million from Odebrecht.


Mr Alejandro Toledo, president from 2001 to 2006, is alleged to have received US$20 million for approving Odebrecht's building of sections of the Brazil-Peru Interoceanic Highway.

Mr Alan Garcia, during his 2006-2011 second presidency, saw Odebrecht win a record number of contracts, plus an US$800,000 donation for a huge imitation of Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue, as a public "thank you" to Mr Garcia.

Former president Ollanta Humala faces money-laundering claims over US$3 million from Odebrecht.


Odebrecht allegedly paid US$35.5 million in bribes to Ecuadorian politicians between 2007 and last year.


Odebrecht staff have admitted paying US$10.5 million in bribes to officials from a state-owned enterprise in order to secure public works projects.


The government cancelled a US$1 billion contract with Odebrecht for a hydroelectric project after US$59 million in bribes were revealed.

Sons of former president Ricardo Martinelli, in power from 2009 to 2014, deny receiving US$6 million as a bribe for their father.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2017, with the headline 'Latin American officials in trouble'. Print Edition | Subscribe