BOGOTA – The investigation of alleged bribes paid by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht is “a positive development” because it shows that the anti-corruption efforts in Colombia are yielding results, President Juan Manuel Santos said in an interview with EFE.
“It is good that this is happening, because it means that the fight against corruption is yielding results. And it is not only (about) Odebrecht, you have seen that we are uncovering cases in many areas,” Santos said.
Prosecutors are investigating alleged bribes paid by Odebrecht in the country amounting to 84 billion pesos ($28.35 million), well above the $11.1 million reported last December by the US Department of Justice.
Bribes were allegedly paid in connection with the awarding of a contract to Odebrecht for construction of the Ruta del Sol II highway and the extension of the Ocaña-Gamarra road.
Former Deputy Transportation Minister Gabriel Garcia Morales, former Sen. Otto Bula and Juan Sebastian Correa, a former adviser to the National Infrastructure Agency, are among those arrested as part of the investigation.
The government and regulatory agencies “are working together to bring to justice any person involved in corruption,” Santos said.
Investigators have not proved that any official in the administration accepted bribes and so far just Correa, “a second tier” official in the executive branch, has been indicted, the president said.
“If there is anyone else (involved), he should be brought to justice,” Santos said.