The government of Ecuador said the country will deliver to justice anyone involved in the corruption scandal of the worldwide bribery scheme by the largest Brazilian construction company, Odebrecht, after their officials alleged they paid millions to ‘intermediaries’ in the country.
President Rafael Correa’s government criticized the selective information given by prosecutors in the U.S. and Brazil, for trying to involve members of its cabinet without evidence.
According to a statement published Monday, the government said foreign investigators only focused on one case of alleged corruption between 2007 and 2008, even though the company has been working in the country since 1987, and was expelled during those years for technical irregularities.
The government said it is worried that these allegations are a product of an agreement with U.S. prosecutors for Odebrecht officials who were charged with corruption in Brazil and a dozen other countries, to reduce their sentence.
The government said they will be the first ones to identify those responsible if the allegations are proven.
“The conduct of the national government has always been transparent and determined in the interests of the country,” said the government in a statement.
President Correa expelled Odebrecht from the country in 2008 after it had "technical irregularities" in the San Francisco hydroelectric plant project in the capital city of Quito, a project that began in 2000 under the presidency of Gustavo Noboa.
The company only came back in 2010 to fix the project as demanded by the Ecuadorian state, and paid US$55,7 million to do so, as well as US$20 million in fines since the plant had to stop producing energy for the Andean country.
After that, the company has had 5 contracts in Ecuador, who have all been finished and audited by the country’s Attorney General. The only current local contract by the company is underway with the right-wing municipality of Quito.
Since the process is being reviewed in the U.S., Ecuador took the opportunity to demand, as it had done throughout the years, for the northern country to “cooperate actively and effectively with Ecuador in the extradition process of several citizens, who for years have escaped justice for severe corruption cases in our country, and who have been clearly identified and comfortably live in the U.S.”