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Husband of Judge Who Invalidated Referendum Has Lucrative Contracts with Santos Government

By: Orlando Avendaño - @OrlvndoA - Dec 21, 2016, 6:59 pm
The husband of a key Colombian magistrate has a large contract with the state oil company for legal representation (
The husband of a key Colombian magistrate has a large contract with the state oil company for legal representation (CMI).

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The lawyer at the Center for Conciliation and Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín, founder of the Legal Clinic of the University of Medellín, and member of the Democratic Center party, Daniel Sanín, reported through his Twitter account that the husband of the magistrate of the Council of State of Colombia, Lucy Jeannette Bermúdez, who invalidated the plebiscite of October 2, has large contracts with the government of Juan Manuel Santos.

On Twitter, the lawyer released a copy of a contract between Carlos Augusto Gálvez Argote and Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol for COP $125 million (about US $41,000).

The purpose of the contract, which is dated August 2015, is the provision of comprehensive legal services in all matters relating to criminal proceedings arising from irregularities noted in certain contracts entered into with the company Petrotiger. The contract entails legal advice, preparation of documents (…) as well as the eventual legal representation of Ecopetrol.”

Lucy Jeannette Bermudez on Monday, December 19, currently a magistrate in the Fifth Section of the Council of State of Colombia, ruled that the Colombian Congress and President Juan Manuel Santos should continue with the peace agreement with the FARC, which was rejected by a national referendum on October 2.

In this manner, the decision of the Council of State orders the continuation of the peace agreements that were rejected by the Colombian public, thus invalidating the results of the plebiscite of last October 2.

Ex-president Alvaro Uribe and his Democratic Center party appear to be the winners of the Colombian backlash against the peace agreement, and are expected to mount a strong challenge for the presidency in 2018.

Orlando Avendaño Orlando Avendaño

Orlando Avendaño is a PanAm Post intern who resides in Caracas, Venezuela, where he studies social communication at Andrés Bello Catholic University. Follow @OrlvndoA.

Odebrecht Admits Bribery, Agrees to Record $2.6 Billion Fine

By: Orlando Avendaño - @OrlvndoA - Dec 21, 2016, 5:48 pm
odebrecht

Español On Wednesday, Dec. 21, the United States Department of Justice reported that Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht admitted to bribery charges, and agreed to settle the matter by paying a whopping US $2.6 billion fine in the US, Brazil, and Switzerland. Odebrecht, the main company involved in Brazilian state oil company Petrobras' earthshaking corruption scandal, bribed government officials in different countries to receive "juicy contracts" and, on Wednesday, pleaded guilty to the crime in the three countries mentioned. Read More: Brazil: Odebrecht Bought Offshore Bank Just to Manage Bribes Read More: Lula Has Two Weeks to Come Clean in Odebrecht Probe Additionally, the Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem, which is controlled by the construction company, agreed to pay a fine of US $632 million, plus returning $325 million in undue profits, for also having participated in the bribery. Furthermore, both private sector companies committed to provide information in a court of law regarding the extent of the illegal acts that were practiced both in Brazil and abroad. They also took responsibility for violating anti-corruption laws in Switzerland, the United States, and Brazil. "The collusion and conspiracy of these two companies reveals a vast network of both national and international corruption. Considering the two cases together, the fines assessed are world records in monetary terms, with regard to a legal settlement," the Brazilian attorney general's office said on Wednesday. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1459522593195-0'); }); On November 8, the Reuters news agency reported that researchers from the United States, Switzerland, and Brazil are working with the construction company in order to reach a plea bargain, under which the company will be obligated to provide evidence against more than 100 corrupt politicians. The news agency reports that more than 80 Odebrecht employees are negotiating an agreement with the public prosecutor and plea bargain for the company. However, they must provide evidence on the role of the construction company in relation to corruption cases that revolve around state oil company Petrobras and the Lava Jato (Car Wash) case. Source: El Confidencial

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