MEXICO CITY – The Odebrecht corruption case in Mexico ultimately goes as far up as the president, investigative journalist Raul Olmos, author of a book that shines a light on the shady business dealings of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht in the country, said in an interview with EFE.
The web of corruption involving the illegal payment of bribes goes as far back as at least Felipe Calderon’s administration (2006-2012), as well as outgoing Peña Nieto’s tenure, Olmos said.
His book “Gigante de lodo: Odebrecht y su historia de corrupción en México” (Mud Giant: Odebrecht and its History of Corruption in Mexico), is a compilation of his reports on Odebrecht’s illegal operations in the country, which highlights the role of the Mexican justice system in a “web of complicity” that has kept officials from being prosecuted.
The list of government officials allegedly involved in the case includes Emilio Lozoya, former head of state-run oil company Pemex, who the prosecutor’s office is investigating for accepting as much as $10 million in bribes.
Olmos’s comprehensive investigation – which was aided by documents obtained from Brazilian prosecutors – said that a “key” factor of impunity in Mexico is the existence of actors within the justice system who hamper investigations leading to senior officials.
Olmos also said that the millions in contracts directly awarded to the Brazilian construction giant during the administration of former President Felipe Calderon (2006-2012) have been largely “overlooked.”
To illustrate his claim, he said that Calderon’s name is mentioned in the files provided by Brazilian prosecutors, which say that the former president was involved in an advantageous investment project of which former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also took part.