Dominicans Continue to Speak Out Against Odebrecht Scandal Corruption

Dominicans have not forgotten the wave of corruption that took place in past years as a result of the Odebrecht chaos. They continue to speak up for justice in their island.

This past Sunday, Dominicans took over the streets of almost every corner of the island (and even in New York City and Spain) to protest against politicians who were involved in the corruption case. The march was called “La Marcha Verde” (The Green March) and led by the “Marcha Verde” social movement.

La Marcha Verde started back in January. The movement claims to have collected half-million signatures, demanding that President Danilo Medina open an independent investigation.

On May 27, fourteen officials and lawmakers were arrested in the Dominican Republic after investigators found out they were involved in the $92 million dollar briberies paid by Odebrecht. The scandal does not end there.

Dominicans are asking attorney general Jean A. Rodríguez to open an investigation since they believe “there are clear signs of responsibility from your government of the irregular prices and overvaluation of the thermoelectric power station at Punta Catalina,” according to a statement by protesters during the march.

This power station was built in the south of the island by Odebrecht.

What is the Odebrecht corruption case?

Brazilian authorities started an investigation back in 2015 where they found out that Odebrecht had paid officials and lawmakers in different countries for big contracts.

Odebrecht is one of the largest Brazilian construction companies in Latin America. Among its biggest projects were constructions for the 2014 Soccer World Cup, highways in the Dominican Republic and Colombia, where politicians received $11 million to secure contracts and other projects throughout the region.

In addition, some of the money given by Odebrecht was used to pay political campaigns in those countries.

Since the investigations started, Marcelo Odebretch and 76 executives of the company have been arrested. They have agreed to disclose the names of the politicians involved.

Marcha Verde will continue to demand an independent investigation, the restoration of stolen money by the accused officials and the cancellation of the current contracts between Odebrecht and the government of Dominican Republic.

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María Camila Montañez is a journalism student at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism’s Spanish-language program. She is originally from Colombia and tweets from @mariacmontanez.

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