Alecksey Mosquera, Ecuador’s energy minister between 2007 and 2009, allegedly received a one million dollar bribe from Odebrecht for a contract to build the Toachi-Pilatón hydroelectric plant. According to the available information, the payment was in order to boost Odebrecht’s chances of winning a major infrastructure contract, a fact that had been denied by outgoing president Rafael Correa.
Correa said that Mosquera was no longer a minister when he received the money, so it cannot be said to have been a bribe, since the payment was after he left his position. However, El Comercio newspaper said that it had access to documents from the prosecution, which states that Odebrecht‘s money was “to expedite proceedings related to the Toachi-Pilatón hydroelectric plant.”
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These documents are based on statements by Rodrigo Tacla, an Odebrecht attorney, who accepted that the money was for the hydroelectric plant and that the payment was made to Mosquera and Marcelo Endara, one of the former minister’s associates, who is also in custody on related charges.
In addition, the documents show how carefully the deposit of the funds in an account outside Ecuador had been planned and that one of Odebrecht’s companies made the payment to Correa’s former minister who Correa defends without any explanation, since according to the blog Four Pelagatos, “the former lawyer’s statements should have reached Correa’s ears already.”
Their hypothesis is that the Ecuadorian president is seeking to defend Mosquera so that he does not have to reveal more irregularities within the Ecuadorian Government related to the corrupt Brazilian construction giant, which has already tarnished the reputation of several leaders in Latin America.
Outgoing president Correa is planning on traveling to his wife’s native Belgium to pursue a career in academia. Correa is an economist, who holds a PhD from the University of Illinois in the United States.
Source: Cuatro Pelagatos