Three Peruvian companies are being added to a list of partners of Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, currently mired in a sprawling corruption case, it has been announced
Businessmen Jose Grana, Hernando Graña, Fernando Camet and Fernando Castillo – who represent Grana y Montero, JJ Camet Contratistas Generales S.A. and Civil Engineers and General Contractors S.A. – are already being held in preventive detention.
The request to list the firms was made by the Peruvian Public Minstry's Special Task Force involved with the infamous 'Car Wash' investigations.
The prosecutor's office named them in the investigation into the alleged crimes of aggravated collusion, money laundering and bribes delivered by Odebrecht to IIRSA Sur during the government of Alejandro Toledo.
Brazil's Operation Car Wash investigations, involving the Odebrecht construction conglomerate and its petrochemical subsidiary, Braskem, stretch well beyond the country's borders.
They've cooperated with Brazil's federal police to reveal bribes that were paid to public officials in Latin America and elsewhere. Company executives have been found guilty of illicitly acquiring contracts since 2001, and admitted paying more than US$788 million in 2016 to at least 12 different countries.
Numerous ministers, presidential candidates and presidents, as well as businessmen and their associates, were reportedly party to the payout.
Since then, Latin American authorities have arrested several figures, some more high-profile than others, in connection with the ongoing investigations.
At present, over 100,000 Peruvians are unemployed: a direct consequence of stonewalled construction projects headed by Odebrecht. That number will double, according to the Peru's Civil Workers' Union, if national construction companies, also accused of corruption, are halted.
"It doesn't matter if businessmen steal if they are in jail: they will always have money," said Alberto Hidalgo, one of the unemployed workers.
"Meanwhile, we, the people must live out of their salaries and don't have a steady job. How are we going to live? We'll have to survive selling candy or anything that we can."