Luke Taylor reports on how The Odebrecht Corruption Scandal Is Already Shaking Up Colombia’s Presidential Vote
In August, Colombia’s Supreme Court called on President Juan Manuel Santos and several former ministers to testify about Odebrecht bribes to the Colombian government that the attorney general’s office says exceed $27 million. Investigations have already revealed that both of Santos’ election campaigns, in 2010 and 2014, received money from Odebrecht.
In December, the Democratic Center party led by Santos’ predecessor and key opposition figure, Alvaro Uribe, was also implicated when a former vice minister of transportation, Gabriel Garcia Morales, was sentenced to prison for taking $6.5 million in bribes in exchange for awarding Odebrecht a road construction contract in 2010 worth more than $1 billion. Morales has promised to testify against other Colombian officials, according to the attorney general’s office.
These scandals have discredited some of Colombia’s biggest political figures, including both the Santos and Uribe administrations, and could have significant effects on the upcoming presidential election, which will take place in two rounds in March and May.
As a result,
The fallout from Odebrecht has created the space for an unlikely leftist coalition. The image of many mainstream politicians has reached an all-time low, and polls show that corruption is currently the single biggest political issue for Colombian voters.
Taylor examines the coalition in the article.
How the elections turn out remains to be seen, but without a doubt, Odebrecht’s bribery machinery, a.k.a. the smoothly-run Division of Structured Operations, with its own hierarchy, its own accountants, and its own off-the-books communications system, called Drousys, kept a finger on the pulse of Latin American corruption.
In other election news,
FARC’s Political Party to Deploy Network of Militias throughout Colombia.
Timochenko said that the guidelines for FARC policies will be made through the creation of Tactical Units of the People throughout the country that will be responsible for spreading their propaganda in which he will collect men and women from amongst the common people.
What could possibly go wrong?