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Transparency International Series

International cooperation in the Odebrecht case: Peru

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Bribe

Summary of the facts

Odebrecht participates in 40 projects in three different governments in Peru

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

The plea bargain deal testimonies given to Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office by former Odebrecht executives who used to work in Peru, tell of illegal donations made to the election campaigns of politicians from across the political spectrum, as well as of bribes paid in exchange for benefits given in public biddings and for overcharging the cost of public contracts. Odebrecht participated in approximately 40 projects across three different administrations in Peru (those of Ollanta Humala, Alejandro Toledo and Alan García), which involved US$ 12 billion in public spending. The company, which has collaborated with Peru’s justice system and made a deal with the country’s government in February 2019, admitted to paying US$ 29 million in bribes between 2005 and 2014.

According to informant Jorge Henrique Simões Barata, Odebrecht’s former chief of operations in Peru, the order to make the donations to Humala came by way of Marcelo Odebrecht, on behalf of PT (Brazil’s Workers’ Party). “At a certain point, I received a call by Mr. Marcelo Odebrecht, saying that we were going to fund Mr. Ollanta Humala’s campaign. (…) He asked that we contribute US$ 3 million to the campaign. (…) This request came from the Workers’ Party. We only got to hear about this later. He (Marcelo Odebrecht) said [relating the conversation]: ‘Do it’. ‘I’m sorry, but we can’t. Why are we going to donate to a candidate who is not suitable for the country? He is not a good candidate for the company. Where’s the logic in that?’ He told me: ‘Barata. Do it, listen to me and do it.'”

Toledo is accused of receiving US$ 20 million in bribes, in exchange for favouring the company in the public bidding processes for two segments of the Interoceanic Highway, which would go through the country, linking Brazil to the Pacific Ocean, as well as for Line 1 of Lima’s subway system, and for segments of the highways in Callao, Cusco and Carhuaz. Jorge Barata’s testimony also mentioned former Minister of Communications Jorge Cuba Hidalgo and former president Alan García, who allegedly also received illegal payments for his campaign.

The last one to be mentioned in the testimony, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, nicknamed “PPK”, resigned from Peru’s presidency, after being accused of receiving money from Odebrecht, and after videos showing his middlemen negotiating favours in exchange for support against impeachment proceedings he was battling in 2017 were uncovered and released. In December of that year, documents sent by Odebrecht to the Peruvian Congress revealed that the company gave US$ 782,000 to a consulting company owned by PPK. With his resignation, Vice-President Martín Vizcarra took office.

Apart from Barata and Odebrecht, the company’s former director for Latin America, Luiz Antonio Mameri, also spoke in his testimony of how the bribery scheme in Peru worked. The executive admitted to authorising illegal payments, and that he was the one who decided how they would take place.

PUBLIC CONTRACTS WITH POSSIBLE IRREGULARITIES

+ Line 1 of Lima’s subway system

+ Segments of the Interoceanic Highway

+ Expansion of the Costa Verde Highway

Capítulo 2

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

Date of document: August 23, 2016

Produced by: Paraná state Federal Police

  • Analysis report on the laptop and CD apprehended from the residence of Maria Lúcia Tavares, a secretary who worked for 11 years in Odebrecht’s Structured Operations Sector (known as the “bribery sector”). She was the one to reveal, in her testimony, that the sector existed. This sector used hundreds of coded terms and nicknames to designate the people who took the bribes. In one of the apprehended documents there is the term “PERU”, found thusly: “FOGAREIRO PETISCO AVENIDA ALAMEDA SOFREDOR PERU VERDE VISAO SOLDADO MANDIOCA MARCOS TADEU MINAS MBO x BJ MONOPOLIO SAPOLIO: We’ve already paid 500 + 500 + 500 + 500, in Rio and 1,000,000 in SP Go transfer to SP VL asked to give Bira back AGRIÃO CORES PRODUTO ESTADIO FERA Delivered to Denio Paid 200, 50 to go”. (report written by a Paraná state Federal Police agent).

Date of document: June 20, 2016

Produced by: Paraná state Federal Police

  1. During his testimony, given in March 2016, Odebrecht’s former Oil & Gas director, Roberto Prisco Paraíso Ramos, was asked whether he had requested then-director of institutional relations Alexandrino Alencar to ask former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva to go to international events that were of interest to Braskem. He then answered that there was an opportunity in which the president would go to Peru and that he, Ramos, relayed Braskem’s interest in installing a natural gas processing plant to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Ramos said he recalls that Braskem’s request ended up in one of then-president Lula’s speeches.

(Copy of the former Odebrecht director’s testimony)

Date of document: March 24, 2016

Produced by: Paraná state Federal Police

  1. In a preventive detention and search and seizure warrant drafted in February 2016, the Public Prosecutor’s Office Operation Car Wash task force in Curitiba states that, in one of the documents previously apprehended, there is “mention of a ‘Program OH’, a reference to [then] president of Peru, OLLANTA HUMALA, associated with the amount of R$ 4.8 million — which, using R$ 1.60 to one dollar exchange rate, amounts to US$ 3 million”. Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office also states that “open-sourced searches have shown that ODEBRECHT conducted several public works in the country, many of which were financed by the Brazilian government, and there is strong evidence that points to the company having used the practice of lobbying with Peruvian political agents, and that ODEBRECHT funded election campaigns”. Lastly, the investigators point out that “note number 10018 found in MARCELO ODEBRECHT’s cell phone mentions “OH vs humility” and cash money sent to Peru”

(Warrant for preventive detention and other measures)

Date of document: February 11, 2016

Produced by: Public Prosecutor’s Office in Curitiba

INFORMANTS

  • Jorge Henrique Simões Barata (Odebrecht’s former chief of operations in Peru): responsible for operations in Peru and main articulator for the bribes paid to congress and Executive branch members. Barata collaborated with Brazilian and Peruvian authorities and detailed the company’s relationship with the officials it corrupted.
  • Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht (former chairman of Odebrecht): explains, in general terms, the company’s activities in Peru and admits to the illegal payments made to presidents and members of the opposition.
  • Luiz Antonio Mameri (Odebrecht’s former director for Latin America): responsible for contracts in Latin America and for the bribery scheme. He authorised the illegal payments and decided how they would take place.

Commitment

Data on bilateral cooperation with Brazil

Peru sent 68 cooperation requests 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 signed by Peru and Brazil is dated February 15, 2017.

COOPERATION REQUESTS MADE TO BRAZIL

Within the framework of Operation Car Wash, Peru sent 68 requests for cooperation to Brazil in the last two years, with 18 of them having been sent in 2017, and 50 in 2018.

  • 2017:
  • Subpoena
  • Notification and request for information
  • Obtaining copy of sentence given, as well as testimonies
  • Obtain certified copies of various testimonies given
  • Hearings and copy of hearing
  • Location and notification
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Obtain witness hearing
  • Accounts and providing of documents which contain information
  • Creation of a JIT (Joint Investigation Team)
  • Information on e-mails
  • Hearings, as well as searches in documents
  • Hearing
  • Certified copies of testimonies
  • Notification
  • Hearing
  • Telephone and communications confidentiality

 

  • 2018:
  • Information in the system
  • Hearings
  • Witnesses’ hearings and banking records
  • Copies of the testimonies given
  • Information and telephone numbers
  • Notification
  • Witnesses hearing  
  • Documents
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Location and subpoena
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Information
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Witnesses hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Authorisation for sharing evidence with other proceedings
  • Witness hearing
  • Witness hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Notification
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearing
  • Hearings

JOINT INVESTIGATION TEAMS

According to a report by the Public Prosecutor’s Office from January 2019, Peru was, 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