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Odebrecht Offers Plea Bargains to Countries that Continue Doing Business

02/24/2017 - 10h34

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BELA MEGALE
LETÍCIA CASADO
FROM BRASÍLIA

Odebrecht signaled that it is willing to enter into plea-bargaining and leniency agreements with eight countries, but made it clear that in exchange it needs guarantees that the company will be allowed to continue doing business in these territories.

In a meeting organized by the Brazilian Federal Prosecutor General in Brasília on the 16th, representatives from the group made a presentation regarding leniency agreements with Federal Public Prosecutors from Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, the Dominican Republic and Venezuela, all countries in which the construction company is under investigation.

The truce includes an end to hostile measures that have been taken against assets belonging to the company and its employees that are working abroad.

Odebrecht has made it clear that guaranteeing its survival and the continuation of business activities in these counties is its primary motivation in seeking negotiations outside of Brazil.

Among the points highlighted by the group as necessary for the agreements to move forward is a requirement to not hold purchasers of the company's goods and services responsible for illegal acts practiced in the past.

Odebrecht has also requested that the prosecutors assist in negotiations with other authorities in each country, including state-owned companies with whom the construction company has contracts. It is seeking to lift suspensions on business registrations and blocking of assets that it is facing.

Peru has been the most inflexible. On the 17th, its government decreed an asset embargo against Odebrecht in the amount of US$ 46 million.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has already declared that the construction company must leave the country.

The most productive conversations have taken place with the Dominican Republic, which is forecasting the certification of an agreement on the 1st of March, in addition to Mexico and Columbia.

The company's goal is to reach leniency agreements within two months with the eight countries it is negotiating with in the region. Odebrecht has admitted to paying US$788 million in bribes in 12 countries.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

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