PRESIDENT OF PERU IS BEING INVESTIGATED FOR BRIBERY
Peruvian lawmakers voted to open an investigation into agreements between a unit of Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht and President Martin Vizcarra’s family business more than a decade ago, renewing tension between the executive and legislative branches.
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The investigation of the leases of Conirsa , the Odebrecht unit, with the family engineering firm of the president, C and M Vizcarra Contratistas, was authorized by a committee of the Congress led by the opposition on Wednesday.
Peruvian prosecutors are investigating officials from previous governments, including two former presidents, after Odebrecht admitted paying bribes to obtain the Interoceanic Highway construction contract. The opposition-controlled Congress tried to overthrow Vizcarra’s predecessor, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, last year, alleging that he had lied about the relationship of his investment banking firm with the Brazilian construction company. Kuczynski resigned on the eve of a second impeachment vote.
Lawmakers allege that Vizcarra lied last week when he told a reporter that his company did not serve Odebrecht during the construction of the highway. Vizcarra reaffirmed on Tuesday that the team was leased to Conirsa, not Odebrecht, and said there was nothing irregular in the agreements, which took place between 2006 and 2008, before he assumed public office. He also assured that at that time he had no idea who was the owner of Conirsa.
“Did the president lie? Yes, he lied, “said Roberto Vieira before the vote. “It’s impossible that I did not know that Odebrecht was behind the consortium.”
Vizcarra’s press office was not available to comment immediately after the committee’s decision.