By Carlos Camacho
CARACAS -- Maria Baptista de El Troudi, the wife of Haiman El Troudi, a cabinet minister for both Hugo Chavez and his successor Nicolas Maduro, has been charged in connection with the Odebrecht corruption case by Venezuela’s Attorney General’s Office.
Elita del Valle Zacarias Diaz, Baptista’s mother and El Troudi’s mother in law, has been charged together with her daughter.
“The Public Ministry (an office of the AG’s) has summoned as accused one Elita Del Valle Zacarias Diaz and her daughter Maria Eugenia Baptista Zacarias for being allegedly related to the Odebrecht case”, the agency stated in a web posting.
“It is worth noting that both women are related to Haiman El Troudi, who performed as minister of Popular Power for Land Transportation and Public Works,” the main Venezuelan agency that had dealings with Odebrecht’s myriad, ambitious and largely unfinished Venezuelan projects under Chavez and later Maduro.
Brazilian investigators determined that it was in Venezuela where Odebrecht paid the most kickbacks, more than in any of the other dozen countries in which the Brazilian company operated.
In 2016, Brazil's Odebrecht admitted that it paid more than $98 million in bribes over several years to obtain contracts in Venezuela.
“Transparencia Venezuela”, the local affiliated of anti-corruption NGO “Transparency International”, said that most of the high-profile mass transportation and roads projects went unfinished, including two entire new subway lines in the capital city of Caracas.
Both women have to appear before the national attorney 55, Pedro Lupera, on July 27th at 9 a.m. “accompanied by their defending attorneys so that they are charged with offenses in the Law Against Corruption,” the AG’s statement says.
“This process (the summons) corresponds to an investigation being advanced by the Public Ministry regarding several irregularities detected in contracts carried out by representatives of said Brazilian construction company,” the statement ends.