Posted on March 23, 2017
The project to make the Magdalena River in Colombia more navigable has been suspended:
Odebrecht Bribery Plea Muddies Colombia’s Big River Project. Channelization of Magdalena River stalled over corruption fears, thwarting country’s ambitious infrastructure plans
A string of gritty river towns along Colombia’s mightiest river have waited years for mounds of silt to be dredged from the waterway, a project that was supposed to start last year and bolster growth in Latin America’s fourth-largest economy.
But the $862-million contract to make 565 miles of the Magdalena River more navigable went mostly to Brazilian firm Odebrecht SA, whose explosive admission that it paid extensive bribes to land infrastructure projects led Colombian regulators last month to suspend the river works. That contract, which promised to triple river cargo, was the cornerstone of a now troubled $25-billion infrastructure initiative to build new highways, airports and ports that would modernize a country bedeviled by its rugged terrain.
The Odebrecht corruption investigation has tied up hundreds of infrastructure projects in the hemisphere: Odebrecht Mess Leaves Devastation Trail From Andes to Caribbean, among them
Peru’s grandest infrastructure project. The 1,025-kilometer (637-mile) Gasoducto Sur Peruano was meant to climb from Cuzco’s jungle gas fields to nearly 5,000 meters (16,405 feet) above sea level and then back down. Only 33 kilometers of pipe were in the ground before bribery allegations ended Odebrecht’s access to funds, prompting the government to terminate the contract last month.
Peru is particularly affected,
Nowhere is the scandal more damaging than in Peru where President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is struggling to make good on his promise to boost growth by investing in infrastructure. Cancellation of Odebrecht’s pipeline contract set back a $70-billion infrastructure plan. Other projects have slowed under added scrutiny. Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne was forced to shave a percentage point off his growth forecast for 2017.
The BBC has a brief summary, Brazil’s Odebrecht corruption scandal.
Source: Fausta’s Blog