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English/Español: Rubio Urges DOJ to Ensure Odebrecht is Complying with Plea Agreement

Sep 12, 2019 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr to encourage the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure that the Brazilian construction conglomerate, Odebrecht, complies with the terms of the 2016 plea agreement with the DOJ. According to a story from the Miami Herald, “leaked files make clear that Odebrecht’s web of corruption extended to many public works projects and public figures that have not been addressed by law enforcement, raising questions about whether Odebrecht has been fully candid with authorities and about the political will of some prosecutors to pursue cases.”
Rubio is Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues.
The full text of the letter is below:
Dear Attorney General Barr:
The corruption scandal involving the Brazilian construction conglomerate, Odebrecht, has shaken regional governments and alliances and led to the imprisonment of several former presidents and other high-ranking officials in those countries.  In light of new information uncovered by investigative reporters, I write to respectfully encourage your department, as appropriate, to ensure that Odebrecht is complying with the terms of the company’s 2016 plea agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice.   
In 2016, Odebrecht pled guilty and agreed to pay a combined total penalty of at least $2.6 billion to resolve charges with the U.S. Justice Department.  A fundamental component of the plea agreement was that Odebrecht would truthfully disclose all factual information with respect to its activities and those of its subsidiary companies and affiliates. Recent reports, however, call into question whether Odebrecht has been fully transparent with the Department of Justice about its corrupt activities in Latin America.
The reporting asserts that although Odebrecht admitted to a detailed accounting of its crimes and corrupt practices, and would cooperate with prosecutors to bring the company’s associates to justice, Odebrecht’s admissions and subsequent actions provide an incomplete picture of their corrupt activities.  As the Miami Herald reported, “leaked files make clear that Odebrecht’s web of corruption extended to many public works projects and public figures that have not been addressed by law enforcement, raising questions about whether Odebrecht has been fully candid with authorities and about the political will of some prosecutors to pursue cases.”  Moreover, “the leaked records reveal hidden payments across the region that extend far beyond what has been publicly reported.”
In particular, the reporting raises Odebrecht’s possible corrupt activities in Cuba, noting that between 2010 and 2015, “Odebrecht made irregular payments tied to the modernization of the port of Mariel, west of Havana, and the planned expansions of two Cuban airports, for which it had secured more than $800 million collectively from the Brazilian government.”
According to the reports, now-convicted CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht, told Brazilian investigators that he did not pay bribes in Cuba. However, one Herald article maintains that “everything to do with his company’s business foray on the communist island was irregular, including the creative financing eventually employed by the Brazilian Development Bank BNDES to avoid having Odebrecht paid directly by the Cuban government, which might have run afoul with U.S. sanctions.”
Odebrecht’s plea agreement with your department says that if Odebrecht “commits any felony under U.S. federal law” or “provides in connection with this Agreement deliberately false, incomplete, or misleading information,” then the agreement shall be deemed as breached and the US/Brazilian/Swiss authorities have the absolute discretion to reopen and investigate with the intent of prosecuting the entirety of the operation.  Furthermore, Odebrecht is required to continue its cooperation with law enforcement, including in connection with the investigations and prosecutions of individuals responsible for the criminal conduct.
Given the above information, I respectfully encourage your department to ensure Odebrecht’s full compliance with the 2016 plea agreement and U.S. law.  Government corruption is counter to, and undermines the public’s confidence in and stability of, democratic institutions among our allies in the region.  Conversely, such corruption only solidifies the power and authority of dictatorial regimes in the region, such as in Cuba and Venezuela.  It is critical to regional stability that agreements entered into with the U.S. Department of Justice are honored and enforced in good faith.          
I appreciate your attention to this important matter.



Washington, D.C. – El senador estadounidense Marco Rubio (R-FL) hoy le envió una carta al Fiscal General William Barr para instar al Departamento de Justicia de los Estados Unidos (DOJ) a garantizar que el conglomerado brasileño de construcción, Odebrecht, cumpla con los términos del acuerdo de culpabilidad con el Departamento de Justicia del 2016. Según una publicación de El Nuevo Herald, “las nuevas filtraciones dejan en claro que la red de corrupción de Odebrecht se extendía a muchos proyectos de obras públicas y a personalidades públicas que hasta ahora no habían sido alcanzados por la ley, lo que genera dudas sobre la total honestidad de la confesión de Odebrecht ante las autoridades y sobre la voluntad política de algunos fiscales para avanzar con los casos”.
Rubio es el Presidente del Subcomité de Relaciones Exteriores para el Hemisferio Occidental, Delincuencia Transnacional, Seguridad Civil, Democracia, Derechos Humanos y Asuntos Globales de la Mujer.