Mexico bans Odebrecht from federal contracts for next three years

Mexico has placed a three-year ban on Brazilian construction group Odebrecht. The decision, announced on Friday by The Public Administration Ministry, will prevent the company from bidding for federal contracts, including those let by state-owned entities such as oil giant Pemex.

The statement said Odebrecht was being excluded "due to the fact that it presented false information during the negotiation of a construction contract" and for overcharging Pemex’s refinery subsidiary.

Odebrecht has admitted paying $788m in bribes to individuals in 12 countries in Latin America, leading the US Justice Department to call the scandal the "largest foreign bribery case in history".

Officials have been prosecuted in Peru, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama and the Dominican Republic. However, the only Mexican official to be questioned, up to now, has been Emilio Lozoya, former director of Pemex. He was accused of receiving more than $10m from the company when he was a campaign manager for former president Enrique Peña Nieto.

Last year, Odebrecht dismissed almost all its board and appointed a majority of independent directors "including a woman for the first time in more than 70 years of the company’s history".

Image: Odebrecht’s use of bribery extended across Latin America and the Caribbean (Odebrecht)

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