NEW YORK .- Yesterday the company Odebrecht faced US justice. On Monday, a federal judge in New York sentenced the Brazilian construction company to pay a $ 2.6 billion fine ($ 2.39 billion in Brazil, $ 116 million in Switzerland and $ 93 million in the United States) for paying bribes to officials from twelve countries of Latin America and Africa.
The fine, which was made public in a Brooklyn court by Judge Raymond Dearie, is the result of a plea bargain between the company and the US Department of Justice and the Brazilian and Swiss authorities.
In addition to this multimillion-dollar fine, almost half of what the company agreed at the end of last year, there is the penalty imposed in December by another New York court of more than $ 600 million to the petrochemical company Braskem, controlled by the Odebrecht group, for similar cases of corruption.
With these sanctions, the Brazilian construction company ends, in the first part, one of the largest corruption cases in the region.
According to the Department of Justice, Odebrecht paid approximately $ 788 million in bribes in 12 countries, including Angola, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Mozambique, Panama, Peru and Venezuela, for more than 100 infrastructure projects.
Although the US authorities have already taken action on the matter, the justice system in countries like Panama has avoided further investigating the issue, let alone investigating the businessmen and government officials who were linked to the company.