As Odebrecht's Corruption Probe Widens, So Should Some Politicians' Shame

Sunday, July 26, 2015
For years, we have been making the case against the Brazilian conglomerate, Odebrecht.

Its close alliance with the Castro dictatorship in Cuba; the Chavez government in Venezuela; its human trafficking activities; slave labor practices; and corruption.

Over the last decade, Odebrecht has become the Castro dictatorship's biggest and most trusted business partner -- spanning ports, airports and sugar mills.

Yet, it sadly remained Miami-Dade County's largest recipient of taxpayer funds.

When the Florida legislature stepped-in to take action, Odebrecht hired an army of lawyers and lobbyists to challenge it.

And throughout, Odebrecht's political allies and beneficiaries in Miami-Dade County criticized us.

Odebrecht's crowning glory in Miami-Dade County would have been the Airport City project, whereby it was set to be handed nearly 35 acres of the most valuable land in the county -- to run as it pleases for nearly half-a-century -- and pay MIA some "rent."

Some Miami-Dade politicians fought tooth-and-nail for Odebrecht, despite mounting evidence of its shameful activities.

Today, Odebrecht's Chairman, Marcelo Odebrecht (below), remains in prison as part of a major corruption probe.

To add some extra shadiness -- while in prison, Brazilian police intercepted a note from Odebrecht telling his lawyers to "destroy emails."

This week, Swiss authorities began a formal investigation of Odebrecht's corrupt activities.

Inquiries have also been made in Peru, Panama, Ecuador and Colombia.

Meanwhile, Brazilian investigators have been working with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Imagine how embarrassing and shameful it would have been for the most valuable land in Miami-Dade County to have been run -- essentially as a fiefdom -- by a company whose Chairman is in prison and facing a major international corruption probe.

It came close. But hopefully, lesson learned.