BOGOTA – Colombia’s attorney general called on Tuesday for an investigation to determine whether $1 million from scandal-plagued Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht helped finance President Juan Manuel Santos’ successful 2014 re-election campaign.
Nestor Humberto Martinez said that investigators have established that Odebrecht paid $4.6 million to then-congressman Otto Bula for assistance in winning lucrative public works contracts in Colombia.
Bula, in turn, initiated two money transfers that eventually deposited $1 million in the account of the Santos campaign, the attorney general said.
Within minutes of the attorney general’s comments, Santos’ office denied that his 2014 campaign received any Odebrecht money.
“The presidency asks the appropriate authorities to expedite all of the investigations necessary to establish the truth about this latest rash accusation,” spokesman Camilo Enciso said in a statement.
The Brazilian construction company allegedly paid bribes on more than 100 projects in 12 countries in Latin America and Africa, amounting to approximately $788 million, according to a probe conducted by the US Department of Justice.