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Evidence Mounts that Colombian President Did Receive Funds from Odebrecht

By: Julián Villabona Galarza - Feb 13, 2017, 11:15 am
Former Congressman Bula has presented more evidence that further incriminates the 2014 Santos campaign (
Former Congressman Bula has presented more evidence that further incriminates the 2014 Santos campaign (YouTube).

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Colombian ex-congressman Otto Bula, who was ensnared in the Odebrecht scandal and who accused the campaign of President Juan Manuel Santos of having received almost one million dollars from the Brazilian construction giant, delivered a USB with information that includes information linking the president’s campaign manager Roberto Prieto to corrupt businessman Andrés Giraldo.

Following the announcement by the Prosecutor’s Office, which spoke of Bula’s accusation, no evidence has come to light directly incriminating President Santos. However, Bula has presented incriminating evidence that further solidifies the relationship between the Santos campaign and Odebrecht.

In addition, the USB contains information about Bula’s contracts with the Brazilian multinational, in which he helped manage contracts such as the Ocaña-Gamarra road that has implicated former ministers Gina Parody and Cecilia Álvarez. In addition, it shows how Odebrecht asked him to justify several several million dollars in unexplained expenses that had not been cleared through proper channels.

According to the newspaper El Tiempo, the information provided on the USB self-incriminates Bula for money laundering and document forgery, since Bula signed a false contract to justify a USD $4.6 million expenditure; in context with this transaction, he also personally earned an alleged USD $1 million, which he has admitted.

There are also new individuals implicated in the case. Otto Bula says that a well-known owner of car dealerships named Lopez helped launder by reporting it as purchases of various Toyota trucks. Bula has confessed to moving the rest of the money through Chinese and Panamanian companies.

Now, the investigation will be focused on determining what happened to the remaining USD $3.4 million that Odebrecht attempted to justify through false contracts. However, everything indicates that this sum could have been paid as a bribe to obtain the lucrative contract for the Ocaña-Gamarra road.

The Ocaña-Gamarra road, passing through rugged mountainous territory in northern Colombia, links the departments of Norte de Santander and Cesar.

The investigation will also probe claims against the Oscar Ivan Zuluaga campaign that allegedly received funds through the mediation of Daniel García Arizabaleta, who was the intermediary between the campaign of the Democratic Center and Odebrecht.

Senator Bernando Elías, who is known as “Ñoño” Elías, has been repeatedly reported to have been involved in the corruption cases. However, he has been surprisingly adept at dodging bullets with the corruption cases, a trend that has continued with respect to Odebrecht.

Senator Elías was reported to have been one of the intermediaries in the budget appropriations for the Ocaña-Gamarra road, suspected of having been the beneficiary of the USD $4.6 million bribe paid by Odebrecht.

Semana magazine, however, notes that Otto Bula has chat logs in which several officials, including “Ñoño”, were very aware of the corruption involved in the awarding of the contract for this route, which proved a boon to the Norte de Santander department, a key constituency for the Colombian senator.

The Las2Orillas website published a series of photographs showing government officials participating in activities with Odebrecht, which is likely to cause further discomfort for the Santos administration.

Source: El Tiempo, Semana, Las2Orillas

Julián Villabona Galarza Julián Villabona Galarza

Julián is a reporter with the PanAm Post with studies in Politics and International Relations from the University Sergio Arboleda in Colombia. Follow him: @julianvillabona.

Peru Asks Donald Trump to Deport Fugitive Ex-President

By: Sabrina Martín - @SabrinaMartinR - Feb 13, 2017, 10:33 am
Peruvian president PPK has asked the US to immediately deport Alejandro Toledo (

Español Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) has spoken with US President Donald Trump to ask him to deport ex-president Alejandro Toledo, who has been accused of corruption. The Peruvian foreign ministry reported that during a telephone conversation, PPK asked his counterpart that "within the framework of the discretion that American immigration law grants to the Department of State, we request the decision to deport Alejandro Toledo to Peru, so that he can be subject to Peruvian justice." Read More: Peru's President Denies Accepting Bribes from Odebrecht Construction Firm Read More: Peru Judge Orders Arrest of Ex-President Alejandro Toledo for Odebrecht Corruption Former Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo is accused of receiving a millions of dollars in bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, in exchange for awarding them with lucrative contracts on two sections of the Interoceanic Highway, a massive infrastructure project designed to link Peru's Pacific Coast with the Brazilian border, where the Brazilian government intended to complete a much longer highway, eventually linking the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); Toledo, who is a fugitive from justice, has been charged with money laundering and influence peddling. The Peruvian Judiciary has ordered that he be held for 18 months while he awaits trial, and has issued an international warrant for his arrest. Through a message in his social media accounts, Toledo insisted that he has not fled justice, and insisted that he will cooperate with the Peruvian investigation, provided that it is done in a fair manner. "I've never run away from any challenge. I will defend my good name under conditions that grant me innocence until proven guilty. I agree to collaborate with the justice system in this investigation, but in the context of an investigation that is just and within the rule of law," he said. Alejandro Toledo served as president from 2001 to 2006, and rose to prominence for his opposition to former president Alberto Fujimori. Source: El Comercio

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