Latin America

How the Odebrecht scandal imploded Peruvian politics

peru president martin vizcarra
Peruvian citizens protest asking for the shutdown of Congress, in support of President Martín Vizcarra

Just four years ago, the Odebrecht construction group was an international behemoth, with a presence in 28 countries, principally in Latin America. The company founded in 1944 was the first Brazilian firm to lead a publicly-financed infrastructure project in the U.S., building Miami’s Metromover. It employed 168,000 people and, in 2014, boasted a turnover of USD 28.5 billion. As it turned out, much of that success was conquered thanks to hefty bribes to hundreds of public officials in several countries.

In Brazil, Operation Car Wash pulled the thread of Odebrecht’s corruption network—discovering that the group even had its own

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