OAS Says Lula Forced the Company to Undertake Bolivia Construction Project

Case was shared by Lava Jato prosecutors; former president denies illicit

Felipe Bächtold & José Marques, Folha Paula Bianchi, The Intercept Brasil

While negotiating a plea bargain agreement, businessman Léo Pinheiro, former president of OAS, said the construction company undertook work in Bolivia to please former president Lula (PT).

The petista, according to Leo Pinheiro, wanted to avoid a wobble in Brazil's relations with the government of Evo Morales.

The mentioned work is the construction of a road that had been started by Queiroz Galvão in 2003. Queiroz, however, got involved in a dispute with the Evo government and broke the contract in 2007.

Tarija-Potosí road. Foto: OAS /Divulgação

According to the contractor's report, Lula secured BNDES financing in the neighboring country and promised that OAS would obtain another contract in Bolivia as compensation for carrying out the troubled project.

The Brazilian government, said Leo Pinheiro, said the impasse posed "diplomatic risks" to the country. The stoppage of the construction of the road began to generate protests in the affected regions.

The report is in the proposal of an allegation by Léo Pinheiro, which was shared by Lava Jato prosecutors in the Telegram application and was sent to The Intercept Brasil website. The site and Folha analyzed the files.

Lula's defense said, "the negotiated lie is Lava Jato's strategy to promote political persecution against the former president."

Bolivia's ambassador to Brazil, José Kinn, says he knows nothing about Leo Pinheiro's statements.

Pinheiro's defense declined to comment.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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