Four deliveries of money, between February 2007 and July 2009, totaling $ 442,754 in the name of the Carrizal-Chone and Multipropósito Baba projects, are part ofthe account statements that were delivered to the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office Marcelo Odebrecht, chief executive of the construction company, involved in the biggest corruption scandal in Latin America.
The heir, 52, who is now at home with parole, gave the information between last February and April.
He did so as part of the effective cooperation agreement he has with the Brazilian Prosecutor’s Office – the equivalent of the State Attorney General’s Office in countries such as Ecuador – within the Lava Jato case.
He delivered emails, account statements and internal documents of financial movements that are related to processes in Brazil, such as the financing of the political campaigns of the ex-presidents Lula Da Silva and Dilma Rousseff (PT),as well as the parliamentary lobbying to obtain exemptions of taxes.
Diario EL UNIVERSO, as part of the IDL Reporters network and other Latin American media, had access to a portion of these documents.
There are three references to projects in Ecuador and they come from the encrypted MyWebDay system, which Odebrecht used to pay bribes.
The first corresponds to two payments made in 2007: one for $ 95,000 on February 27related to the Baba project, and another for $ 110,000 on March 1, for Carrizal-Chone.
The second reference exposes a payment made on October 29, 2007 for Phase 2 of Carrizal-Chone, amounting to $ 35,504. There are the codes ‘LM’ as internal responsible for Odebrecht and ‘PINTAO’, as the receiver. At that time, Luis Mameri, another collaborator of the Lava Jato case, was responsible for Ecuador within the company.
The last reference is about a payment of $ 202,250 made on July 30, 2009, for the Baba project.
By 2006, Odebrecht had completed the construction of Phase 1 of Carrizal-Chone,and had won the bid for Phase 2, at a cost of $ 104 million, awarded on September 26 to the Odebrecht-Hidalgo and Hidalgo Association, in the last months of the presidency of Alfredo Palacio.
The contractor was the Manabí Water Management Corporation (CRM), under the then prefect Mariano Zambrano, and had to be financed with a contribution from the Ministry of Finance of $ 19 million and a loan from the State Bank (BEDE) of $85 million.
The decree on the credit of the BEDE, signed on December 29, 2006, a few days after the change of government, had generated doubts, because that day President Palacio was in Salinas, and the then minister José Jouvín had said that he was abandoning the Ministry and had not signed anything.
Already in the government of Rafael Correa, on August 7, 2007, the then Minister of the Coast, Ricardo Patiño, decided to leave the contest without effect for an excess of $ 33 million in the price. A week later, he changed his mind and announced that the work would continue with the same contractors, but at a cost of $ 82 million. They went down $ 18 million.
However,everything was paralyzed in August 2008 when the Brazilian company was expelled due to the malfunction of the San Francisco hydroelectric plant. The State andthe MCA assumed control and awarded contracts to complete Carrizal-Chone.
According to estimates of the National Water Secretariat, in 2011, the cost of the second phase was $ 95 million. Subsequently, the work was affected by the 2016earthquake and is still not repaired.
Among the works left by Odebrecht when it was expelled, is the Baba project (cantonBuena Fe, Los Ríos), which had begun in 2006, and which was in charge of Hidrolitoral. Marcelo Odebrecht documents include two payments for this work:one in February 2007 for $ 95,000 and another in July 2009 for $ 202,250, when the company was no longer in Ecuador.
Hidrolitoral continued with the works and in September 2009 it broke its contract with Megamaq, of Fabricio Correa, brother of the former president, amid the scandal of its public contracts.
The Brazilian OAS took over the project, by decision of the Ministry of Electricity, in June 2010 and completed the work in mid-2013.
Since2008, OAS had an agreement with Fabricio Correa, but did not include the representation of the company.
About Baba, four special examinations of the Comptroller’s Office were conducted by Carlos Pólit Faggioni, who is now a fugitive from the Odebrecht case. He was sentenced by concussion to six years in prison and since he is not in the country, the trial was suspended due to illicit association (in which former VicePresident Jorge Glas was convicted).
On December 4, 2017, José Conceição Santos, former director of Odebrecht in Ecuador, he testified in the case against Polit, to whom he claims to have given him $ 10.1 million. Santos said that in a meeting Polit received a call and spoke about the Baba project. When hanging, the comptroller told him tha the was from the Presidency and that they asked him not to show signs of criminal responsibility against an official with the surname Punina, since,supposedly, he was “relative of the president”.
The total cost of the Baba Multipurpose project was $ 550 million. Subsequently, in2016 with the revelations of the Panama Papers, this newspaper published thatOAS contracted a false consultancy with the Spanish DSC Workshop to divert $9.1 million from the aforementioned project. The transaction was made throughKingsfield Consulting Corp. and the money ended in Andorra.
In Ecuador, there are five sentences for bribes from Odebrecht. In these processes, more than $ 50 million have been recorded in payments to several officials and companies related to five works: the Manduriacu hydroelectric dam, the Daule-Vinces transfer, the Pascuales-Cuenca pipeline, earthworks and the La Esperanza aqueduct of the Refinery from Pacific.
In a clause of the agreement with Marcelo Odebrecht, the Brazilian authorities indicate that they will share the data, testimonies, information and evidencewith the foreign authorities.
For this, the Office of the Prosecutor of a foreign country must first sign aspecific agreement with Marcelo Odebrecht, in which the conditions for their collaboration will be, at least, the same as Brazil. (I)