Colombia’s prosecution ordered the country’s electoral authority on Wednesday to investigate new claims that former President Juan Manuel Santos received illegal funding for his 2014 campaign.
The Prosecutor General’s Office sent evidence of alleged illegal campaign funding to the National Electoral Council to investigate.
The evidence followed testimonies by businessmen who allegedly served as intermediaries between the corrupt Brazilian engineering firm and Colombian state officials and campaign managers.
One of the businessmen, Andres Sanmiguel, admitted moving $1.2 million (COP3.9 billion) from Odebrecht to the Liberal Party, one of Santos’ coalition partners.
The prosecution order to investigate Santos’ 2014 campaign comes weeks after Congress reopened a criminal investigation into the former president based on testimonies by former Senator Bernardo Miguel Elias.
The jailed politician confirmed the claims of the incriminated businessmen, going as far as saying that the former president “knew perfectly well that the resources they were given were coming from Odebrecht.”
Other politicians allegedly involved in the illegal campaign contributions are Simon Gaviria, the son of former President Cesar Gaviria, who is leading the LP.
The campaign funding of the opposition campaign implicates President Ivan Duque, who traveled to Brazil with Zuluaga and met with Odebrecht months before the elections.
Santos’ campaign manager was sentenced to five years in prison for accepting illegal campaign contributions in 2010 and 2014, and is suspected of also having received illegal contribution from Mexican cement giant Cemex in 2014.
Odebrecht did not just corrupt elections and government officials in Colombia, but has been linked to bribery throughout Latin America and Africa.
In Colombia, the company spent approximately $27 million in bribes between 2009 and 2014 together with the country’s largest banking conglomerate, Grupo Aval, which is largely owned by Colombia’s richest man, Luis Carlos Sarmiento.