- Title: Stalled Brazilian Odebrecht projects decay in Venezuela
- Date: 31st May 2017
- Summary: CAICARA DEL ORINOCO, BOLIVAR, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VIEW FROM SMALL BOAT GOING TOWARDS UNFINISHED ODEBRECHT PROJECT CLOSE-UP OF INCOMPLETE ODEBRECHT PROJECT GENERAL VIEW OF INCOMPLETE BRIDGE BEGUN BY ODEBRECHT VIEW FROM BOAT APPROACHING INCOMPLETE WORKS VARIOUS OF INCOMPLETE BRIDGE STRUCTURES CARACAS, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) LAWYER, WILMER NOLASCO, DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LAWYER, WILMER NOLASCO, SAYING: "All state construction works are paralysed. The Boyaca-Guaira, which is being carried out by the Portuguese, has been paralysed. The Puerto Cabello-La Encrucijada train line, which the Italians are doing, is paralysed. The Llanos train line, being carried out by the Chinese - by the Italians before, then they left it and it was given to the Chinese, is paralysed." LOS TEQUES, MIRANDA, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) INCOMPLETE WORKS IN FRONT OF PAINTING ON ROCK WALL OF VENEZUELAN FLAG GENERAL VIEW OF INCOMPLETE ODEBRECHT PROJECT TANK WITH ODEBRECHT LOGO ON SIDE VARIOUS OF CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES LINED UP AND UNUSED GENERAL VIEW OF CONSTRUCTION VEHICLES ON PATIO CONSTRUCTION VEHICLE WITH ODEBRECHT LOGOS CLOSE-UP OF RUSTING TANK WITH ODEBRECHT LOGO CARACAS, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) LAWYER, WILMER NOLASCO, SAYING: "Of course, in order for these works to be completed, resources need to be sent by the beneficiary of the works, which is the state. If these are paralysed it is because of the lack of state resources, for the debts the state has with the companies carrying out the works." GUARENAS, GUATIRE, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CARS DRIVING UNDER INCOMPLETE BRIDGE TOP OF INCOMPLETE STRUCTURES WITH MOUNTAINS SEEN BEHIND VARIOUS GENERAL VIEWS OF INCOMPLETE STRUCTURES AND EXPOSED SCAFFOLDING CARACAS, VENEZUELA (RECENT) (REUTERS) DIRECTOR OF THE NGO, INTERNATIONAL TRANSPARENCY, MERCEDES DE FREITAS, DURING INTERVIEW (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) DIRECTOR OF THE NGO, INTERNATIONAL TRANSPARENCY, MERCEDES DE FREITAS, SAYING: "A lack of transparency is a sign that someone wants to hide something. It could be because of inefficiencies, but seeing the quantity of incomplete works, seeing what's going on with this company (Odebrecht), seeing that they did not finish; it makes you think that perhaps getting the bribe was the most important thing, and perhaps those individuals were not do interested in seeing the works finished. Or that Odebrecht artificially raised prices so that when it charged the first part it already had its needs covered, and finishing the works was the least important thing." VARIOUS OF INCOMPLETE WORKS, CRANES AND ODEBRECHT EQUIPMENT
- Embargoed: 14th June 2017 22:34
- Keywords: Venezuela Brazil Odebrecht corruption Nicolas Maduro Hugo Chavez Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
- Location: CARACAS; CAICARA DEL ORINOCO, BOLIVAR; LOS TEQUES, MIRANDA; GUARENAS, GUATIRE, VENEZUELA
- City: CARACAS; CAICARA DEL ORINOCO, BOLIVAR; LOS TEQUES, MIRANDA; GUARENAS, GUATIRE, VENEZUELA
- Country: Venezuela
- Topics: Company News Markets,Economic Events
- Reuters ID: LVA0016J66PFN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS MATERIAL WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY 4:3
Odebrecht has left at least 23 multi-million dollar projects unfinished or stalled in Venezuela, according to company and government documents, interviews with over two dozens workers, and site visits.
Late last year, Latin America's largest engineering company admitted to paying hundreds of millions of dollars of bribes in 12 mostly Latin American countries in exchange for contracts. The unfolding scandal has already led to the downfall of high-ranking officials across the region.
On Thursday (June 1), Brazil's attorney general will share information from plea bargain deals by dozens of Odebrecht executives with relevant countries.
According to a leniency agreement with U.S. authorities, which was made public in December, Odebrecht and its representatives paid some $98 million dollars in bribes to officials and intermediaries in Venezuela between 2006 and 2015 - the highest amount outside Brazil.
Yet many of the company's projects in Venezuela ground to a halt even before the Odebrecht scandal exploded, likely due to lack of payment from the cash-strapped socialist government, sources said.
Odebrecht's stalled projects include the Caicara project, one other huge bridge, subway lines, a train to link dormitory towns with Caracas, hillside cable cars, an agricultural project, an overhaul of the country's main airport, and a hydroelectric dam.
Caracas-based lawyer, Wilmer Nolasco, said the works had been paralysed due to a lack of state finances, whilst director of the International Transparency NGO, Mercedes de Freitas, considers that contracts had merely been drawn up for public officials and for Odebrecht to reap hefty bribes.
Odebrecht representatives in Venezuela and Brazil did not respond to requests for comment, neither did Venezuela's public works and communications ministries.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None