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Transparency International Series

International cooperation in the Odebrecht case: Mexico

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Capítulo 1

Summary of the facts

Payments started March 2012

This content was produced in partnership by JOTA and Transparency International Brazil.

 

The former chairman of state-owned oil company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) Emilio Lozoya Austin, who is very close to former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, was accused by Odebrecht’s Chief Executive in Mexico, Luis Alberto de Meneses Weyll, of having received illegal money. According to Weyll’s plea bargain deal testimony, the company paid US$ 10 million to Lozoya, in order to be favoured in the US$ 115 million public bidding for the Miguel Hidalgo Refinery’s earthworks contract, in Tula, a town close to Mexico City, and for public contracts in the Salamanca Refinery.

In his testimony, Weyll detailed how the contact and the payments made to Lozoya took place. According to him, the payments begun in July 2012, when Lozoya was one of the main members in Peña Nieto’s campaign committee, and lasted until 2014, when Lozoya had already become chairman of Pemex.

In the beginning of 2012, I noted that Emilio Lozoya had risen to a prominent position within the PRI (Mexico’s Institutional Revolutionary Party), which, in July 2012, had the leading candidate in the presidential race, according to the polls. Lozoya had become one of the campaign committee’s leaders, which would likely lead to him later becoming influent in the country’s public administration”, relates Weyll in his testimony.

According to Odebrecht’s executive, the bribe request then came from the PRI’s leader. “He (Emilio Lozoya) asked for a US$ 5 million ‘acknowledgement’, a high figure. I consulted with my superior (Luiz Mameri), as always, telling him about what a good prospect a closer, more professional relationship of trust could be, and suggested that we should approve a US$ 4 million amount to ‘acknowledge’ him, which we did. (…) We explained to Emilio (Lozoya) that we would be willing to give him US$ 6 million in case he won, US$ 2 million of which would be an ‘acknowledgement’ with no ties to the election, and US$ 4 million used to help with the process of winning it”, he explains.

Apart from Weyll, Hilberto Silva Filho, former coordinator of the Structured Operations Sector, has also contributed to the Mexican chapter of the testimonies. Silva described the corruption scheme involving Pemex, and how, uniquely in Mexico’s case, the Structured Operations Sector knew the name of the bribes’ final recipient: Lozoya.

PUBLIC CONTRACTS WITH POSSIBLE IRREGULARITIES

  • Miguel Hidalgo Refinery, in Tula
  • Salamanca Refinery

Justice System

Documents

The documents presented below are official and were obtained by searching the websites of Brazil’s judicial system’s agencies. They may not be related to the facts described above, as they may refer to cases that still haven’t been fully examined.

 

Date of document: September 13, 2016

Produced by: Paraná state Federal Police

 

  • In an e-mail from August 2015, in response to a request made by Operation Car Wash’s task force in Curitiba, an employee of Brazil’s Central Bank informed that the CONSTRUCTORA INTERNACIONAL DEL SUR S/A’s financial movements that were under investigation actually refer to the entry of funds into the country, meant for the payment of professional technical services rendered to INTERTECHNE CONSULTORES S/A, and that Mexico is the service taker’s country of origin, as informed in the records. CONSTRUCTORA INTERNACIONAL DEL SUR S/A is an off-shore company from Panama that received money from the Odebrecht Group.

 

(report by the Central Bank, sent to Operation Car Wash’s task force in Curitiba)

Date of document: August 3, 2015

Produced by: Brazil’s Central Bank

 

  • In a testimony from March 2016, Odebrecht’s former Oil & Gas director Roberto Prisco Paraíso Ramos, recounts that, in 2009, then-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was going to make a state visit to Mexico, and that the largest project between the two countries was a polyethylene production complex in the Mexican city of Vera Cruz. This project was developed by Braskem, in association with Mexican company IDESA. Ramos adds that he had sent an e-mail to Odebrecht’s former International Relations director Alexandrino Alencar with details for the project, so that he would forward it to Brazil’s foreign affairs ministry, seeing as said project would be featured in the speeches of both presidents — Lula and Felipe Calderón — during the state visit.

 

(Copy of Odebrecht’s former director)

Date of document: March 24, 2016

Produced by: Paraná state Federal Police

INFORMANTS

  • Hilberto Silva Filho (Structured Operations Sector’s coordinator): talks about the corruption scheme involving Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex), and about how, uniquely in Mexico’s case, the Structured Operations Sector knew the name of the bribes’ final recipient: Lozoya.
  • Luis Alberto de Meneses Weyll (Odebrecht’s Chief Executive in Mexico): details the corruption scheme involving Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

Commitment

Data on bilateral cooperation with Brazil

Mexico sent three requests for cooperation to Brazil

The information below was obtained from the Ministry of Justice and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. Since they touch on investigations that are still in progress, the Brazilian organs did not give too much detail on their subject matters, nor did they give the name of the persons and companies involved.

TERMS OF COMMITMENT

The first terms of commitment agreement signed by Mexico and Brazil is dated October 29, 2017.

COOPERATION REQUESTS MADE TO BRAZIL

Within the framework of Operation Car Wash, Mexico sent three requests for cooperation to Brazil in the last two years, with one of them having been sent in 2017 and two in 2018.

  • 2017:
  • To obtain a copy of the organisational documents and articles of organisation, as well as the ongoing investigations and legal actions. Additional request: information on contracts signed in Mexico, as well as on hearings.
  • 2018:
  • Extending of testimonies
  • Copies of testimonies and interrogations

JOINT INVESTIGATION TEAMS:

According to a report by Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office from January 2019, Venezuela was not at that moment one of the countries with which Brazil was in negotiations to create a JIT – Joint Investigation Team. The three Latin-American countries in the list are Argentina, Paraguay and Peru.

Special

Full Coverage

This content was produced in partnership by JOTA and Transparency International Brazil.

International cooperation and other catalysts for anti-corruption prosecution

Unpublished data present x-ray on activity of Latin American investigative organizations in the Odebrecht case

Countries:

Argentina

Panama

Dominican Republic

Peru

Mexico

Guatemala

Colombia

Venezuela

Ecuador