The depths of the multinational corruption scandal involving Brazil's largest construction company Odebrecht continued to expand as the company's Buenos Aires offices were raided on Wednesday by Argentine federal agents, Argentinian newspaper La Nacion reported.
Federal judge, Sebastian Casanello, ordered the raid as part of an investigation into bribes that were allegedly given in order to obtain construction contracts for a water treatment plant during the administration of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.
Within minutes of the raid, Odebrecht released a statement in which they they reaffirmed their position in “collaborating with the law,” La Nacion reported.
The company alleged last year that it had paid more than US$785 million since 2001 to achieve public contracts in at least a dozen countries, and has also financed armed groups for security. According to testimony by the former head of the company Marcelo Odebrecht, around US$35 million in bribes were given in Argentina.
Odebrecht has been at the center of one of the largest corruption scandals in the region's history, since an investigation that began in 2014 quickly mushroomed to encompass current presidents, former presidents, and officials in multiple countries.
President Mauricio Macri's administration has repeatedly promised to take a tough stance on corruption. Former president Cristina Fernandez is currently under investigation for alleged corruption, which she denies, and which some have called an “attack from the justice system and the media.”
Macri's tough on corruption and “zero poverty” campaign promises have proven hypocritical since he came to power in 2015.
Macri has been widely criticized and protested for his involvement in corruption scandals such as the Panama Papers, ongoing Odebrecht scandals, and scandals involving Avianca airline and Argentine mail company Correo Argentino.
Recent reports indicated that Macri himself recieved US$500,000 from the scandal ridden Odebrecht during his 2015 electoral campaign.
His term has also seen a massive rise in poverty due to neoliberal austerity measures.
Similarly, in Brazil, right-wing President Michel Temer faces massive protests and calls for impeachment and resignation in the face of ongoing corruption scandals involving him and his cabinet.