Odebrecht begins its rehab with apology

Jun 24, 2017 | 12 comments

Odebrecht says it is a changed company that wants to be a world leader in fighting corruption.

U.S. attorney Michael Munro (La Hora)

The Brazilian construction firm is offering its “most sincere apologies” to dozens of countries in Latin America and Africa where it bribed government officials to win contracts and said the errors it committed are part of the past.

Michael Munro, a U.S. corporate attorney Odebrecht hired to spearhead its rejuvenation, apologized to the government and people of Ecuador at a breakfast Friday in Quito. “History shows that companies can change and work to correct the problems they created,” he said. “I am here to tell you that Odebrecht has learned a painful lesson and is a changed company. We will pay no more bribes.”

Munro said that the “reconstruction of Odebrecht’s reputation involves accepting the consequences for our action, obtaining forgiveness and paying for repairs where necessary.” In his comments, Murno laid out a 10-point plan to regain trust and return to its role as major infrastructure contractor. “This time, we do it the right way,” he added.

Ecuadorian government officials who attended the breakfast praised Munro’s openness but did not say if they were ready to do business again with Odebrecht.

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Odebrecht admits to paying $900 million in bribes to government officials and private contractors in 18 countries over the past 10 years. The company says it paid about $36 million in bribes in Ecuador.

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