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Brazilian Company Odebrecht Implicated in PEMEX Bribery Scheme in Mexico

LADB Article ID: 80310
Category/Department: Mexico
Date: 2017-06-07
By: Carlos Navarro

Odebrecht SA, the Brazilian company linked to a series of scandals around Latin America, has also been implicated in a corruption scheme involving Mexico’s state-run oil company, PEMEX. According to a report in the Brazilian weekly magazine Veja, the corruption scheme occurred in 2014, when then PEMEX director Emilio Lozoya Austin requested a US$5-million payment from Odebrecht’s Mexican subsidiaries in exchange for construction contracts. The magazine, citing Brazilian court records, said company executive Marcelo Odebrecht volunteered the information about bribery schemes in Mexico and other countries as part of a plea agreement that would reduce his prison sentence. The revelation of the bribery request in 2014 comes after an investigation by Mexico’s Procuraduría General de la República (Attorney General’s Office, PGR) discovered that an Odebrecht affiliate, the construction company Norberto Odebrecht, obtained three important contracts from PEMEX in exchange for bribes totaling US$10.5 million. According to sources close to the recent PGR investigation into the Odebrecht bribery case, Mexican prosecutors are considering actions against Norberto Odebrecht and another, yet-to-be named Mexican affiliate of Odebrecht SA. The actions against the companies could involve hefty fines, as was the case with the Odebrecht scandal in other countries.

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