(Adds context on growing anger at Odebrecht in Peru)
LIMA Jan 5 Brazil's Odebrecht SA has agreed to
pay Peru an initial 30 million soles ($8.9 million) in cash as
it prepares to disclose details on bribes it gave local
officials over a period spanning three presidencies, the
attorney general's office said Thursday.
The money, to be deposited in the coming days, is just part
of what the family-owned engineering conglomerate will pay Peru
in a broader settlement with prosecutors as they seek to uncover
the people and companies involved in the kickback schemes.
"This amount should in no way be understood to be the final
amount," the attorney general's office said in a statement,
adding that the demand for cash upfront was "unprecedented" in
Odebrecht, facing mounting debt as it grapples with a
fast-expanding graft scandal in Latin America, reiterated in a
statement it was committed to cooperating with prosecutors in
In a $3.5 billion international plea deal it signed in the
United States last month, Odebrecht acknowledged making $29
million in corrupt payments to win public works contracts in
Peru between about 2005 and 2014, part of hundreds of millions
in bribes it gave to high-ranking officials from Argentina to
The revelation jolted Latin American elites and spurred
criminal probes across the region as some countries, including
Peru, barred Odebrecht from public contracts.
Peru was the first country outside Brazil where Odebrecht as
ventured and is the headquarters of its investment unit for
Latin America, Odebrecht Latinvest.
But the once-powerful company has come to symbolize the kind
of white collar corruption that Peruvians feel is rarely
punished. As anger at Odebrecht has grown, lawmakers have called
for authorities to seize its assets and terminate its natural
gas pipeline contract as it tries to offload its majority stake.
A protest against road fees imposed by an Odebrecht
consortium turned violent in a shantytown in Lima on Thursday,
with police firing tear gas at a crowd that set fire to
tollbooths. Odebrecht led the consortium that won the road
contract but now owns a quarter of the project after selling
shares to Brookfield Asset Management last year.
Odebrecht has committed to providing prosecutors all
relevant information, the attorney general's office said.
The investigation threatens to implicate officials in the
governments of former presidents Ollanta Humala, Alan Garcia and
Alejandro Toledo. Current President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was
finance minister and prime minister under Toledo.
(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Bernadette Baum and