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Odebrecht bribery list will not be released before Ecuador’s April 2 election

Attorney General Galo Chiriboga announced Monday that the list of Ecuadorian officials bribed by the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht will not be released until June. The decision, by the U.S. Department of Justice which is investigating the case, is a blow to the Guillermo Lasso presidential campaign which had hoped the list would implicate members of Rafael Correa’s government and damage Lenin Moreno’s election chances.

U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

Last week, justice department officials had declined a request from U.S. Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to provide names of Ecuadorian officials before the April 2 runoff election between Lasso and Moreno, who represents Correa’s Alianza País party.

Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban migrant from Miami, admitted that she wanted to embarrass Correa with scandal revelations that might tip the election to Lasso. “It is time for a change in Quito and the Correa regime’s corruption and lack of an independent judiciary are well-documented and it cannot be relied on to investigate itself.”

A fervent anti-Castroite, Ros-Lehtinen did not ask the Justice Department for bribery lists of the dozen other countries in which Odebrecht says it paid bribes, including Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama.

Officials at the justice department told Chiriboga and Ros-Lehtinen that its investigation is not complete and that international agreements prohibit the disclosure of information before trial.

15 thoughts on “Odebrecht bribery list will not be released before Ecuador’s April 2 election

  1. But to hear the Ecuadorian opposition, it’s Correa that is blocking publication of the list.

    1. OF COURSE it’s Correa blocking the list, he’s a criminal!! its not convenient for him to have the list released!

        1. I left the States when I was 19 years old. I bare no responsibility for where my parents chose to have me.

      1. So Correa is preventing the US Justice Department from publishing the list? How could he do that and why would they obey him? It’s completely illogical.

        1. He’s preventing the publication in Ecuador. He has no saying in the US unless Trump has “ordered” that no one gets involved in Ecuador’s affairs.

          1. How can Correa prevent the publishing of a list that the US Justice Department hasn’t released?

            You do understand that the only entity on the planet with the list is the US Justice Department, right? The reason why the list even exists is because Odebrecht settled with the US Justice Department in a massive lawsuit. In exchange for leniency, they agreed to provide the names of all the officials they have bribed around the world and the amounts paid. The Justice Department has repeatedly stated that the list will not be released until the investigation concludes sometime around June or July. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a US Representative from Florida, also requested the list in January. The Justice Department refused to release it even to her.

            So I ask you again, if member of the US House of Representatives could not get the list, why do you think Correa can get it? It defies all logic.

          2. Incidentally, it’s becoming clearer with every passing day that everyone on that list will be tied to the Quito Metro project. That’s the government of opposition mayor Mauricio Rodas, not Correa’s national government as the opposition would like. The Metro contract was awarded to Odebrecht after the mayor’s office ruled that none of the companies that bid on the project had met the requirements. The mayor then agreed to award the contract to Odebrecht after a series of “informal talks” with no opportunity for the other companies to resubmit their bids. That’s what the mayor is calling it. The talks were “informal” which is why he cannot submit any minutes from any of the meetings that were held nor can he release a list of the attendees. Seriously, that’s the story he’s been sticking with since the city council demanded to know what criteria were used to award a $1.3 billion contract. The hearings were broadcast live on tv. They were fascinating to watch. Rodas refused to answer any questions or provide any documentation for the largest contract awarded in the history of the city.

            The Quito city council has restarted its investigation now that the election is over. Jacobo Sanmiguel was an alternate candidate (on the CREO ticket) for the national assembly and due to election laws, he could not be investigated during the campaign period. Sanmiguel traveled to Brazil with Rodas and Rodas’s now jailed “unpaid advisor” Mauricio Teran shortly after Rodas won the mayor’s race. All three denied ever traveling to Brazil, but an inquiry with Brazilian immigration revealed that Teran and Rodas arrived on the same day and Sanmiguel shortly afterwards. Teran told Ecuadorian immigration officials that he was traveling to Peru, but Peruvian immigration revealed that after landing in Peru, Teran boarded a flight for Brazil in the same terminal without ever clearing Peruvian immigration. Real James Bond stuff. Rodas and Teran then traveled together to Mexico from Brazil on the same flight and returned to Ecuador on the same flight. Rodas went to Panama for 1 day the same week and when he returned, he paid over $300k cash for a new house.

            Teran was arrested in December on tax evasion charges in the Quito airport holding a ticket to Panama back after it was revealed that despite declaring zero income for the past 5 years, he has moved over $5 million through an offshore account in Panama. He is being held in custody because he is a flight risk. Shortly after that arrest (and maybe because Teran squealed), Jacobo Sanmiguel was found to have moved $30 million through offshore accounts that he put in his elderly mother’s name. When questioned, he stated that the money came from a land sale in Ambato, though the land registry shows no such sale. The investigation had to be put on hold shortly after it begun because the official campaign season had begun but the Quito city council restarted it yesterday. The Attorney General is expected to make an announcement soon.

            There’s another Odebrecht case going on in Spain (and many other countries for that matter). An accountant from Odebrecht showed up at the prosecutor’s office and agreed to give the names in exchange for asylum. The Ecuadorian Attorney General has been in touch with his Spanish counterpart and requested the names the accountant provided, so we may end up getting the names from that investigation before the US gives up their list. One list of a separate investigation in Brazil has been released, but that case only involves bribery prior to from 1980 something to 2003. Guayaquil mayor Jaime Nebot appeared on that list along with 4 other PSC officials who are no longer in politics.

            The only information the US Justice Department has released is that
            Odebrecht paid $33 million in bribes to yet unnamed Ecuadorian officials.
            They also released amounts and countries for other instances, but have not released the names of any official in any country as of yet. Given that the Quito Metro is the only significant project Odebrecht has
            had in Ecuador since Correa kicked them out in 2008, and the shady way in which the contract was awarded by the mayor of Quito, it’s not a huge leap to suspect that that’s where the $33 million went. We’ll know for sure in June or July, maybe sooner, but it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see that all this screaming by the opposition is going to come back to bite them in the posterior. That’s probably why Lasso hasn’t brought the subject up since Mauricio Teran was arrested.

  2. I sense sarcasm. I think the writer of this article shows their bias when they choose words such as ” admitted that she wanted to embarrass Correa” and “did not ask the Justice Department for bribery lists of the dozen other countries”. It is amateur hour at the highlife.

    1. Actually, the article nailed it. What Ros-Lehtinen told the Miami Herald Spanish-language edition was “I want to see Correa humiliated so voters will not consider voting for his chosen successor.” And yeah, if she’s interested in justice why didn’t she ask for the Odebrecht lists from Panama and Colombia? Go figure.

      1. rememeber that Uribe is in the kist of the most wnted in DEA Number 82 .And colombia is the mayor productor of coca in latinoamerica and USA is the mayor consumer petty…

  3. I basically agree with Galileo. That congress person should keep the hell out of Ecuadorian elections and all other non-US politics. Most countries have had enough of US interference. Would hate to live in a district and have to admit that that “person” was my representative.

  4. where amercans go they leave a bad felling as thay represente the war and unhapiness is a petty as they are good people.

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