Peru’s President Ollanta Humala held talks with the Brazilian ambassador to his country after media linked the head of state to a Brazilian company that is under investigation in a sweeping corruption probe known as Carwash.
Humala summoned Ambassador Marcos Raposo Lopes to the government palace in Lima Monday night to request information on the reports and deny wrongdoing, the president’s office said in an e-mailed statement Tuesday. Brazil’s Foreign Affairs Ministry press office had no immediate comment when asked about the meeting.
Sao Paulo-based newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported Monday that federal police involved in the Carwash probe are looking into links and donations from Brazilian construction conglomerate Odebrecht SA and Peru’s presidency. Its former Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Odebrecht is under house arrest in Brazil as authorities investigate allegations he participated in a cartel that paid bribes.
Odebrecht Peru’s press office said in an e-mailed statement that Brazilian authorities aren’t formally investigating the Andean nation’s involvement in Carwash, adding that the company never offered kickbacks. The conglomerate’s press office in Brazil says it’s cooperating with authorities on the probes and that Marcelo Odebrecht is innocent.
The nearly two-year corruption investigation in Brazil has shaken the nation’s political and business elite, as authorities probe whether top executives paid bribes in exchange for contracts at state companies. The scandal has hurt some of the country’s biggest corporations and eroded business confidence, exacerbating the deepest recession in decades.