Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Odebrecht Bulldozes the Environment

Odebrecht didn't stop at paying off politicians.
The 1071-km Ruta del Sol is to run from near Bogotá
to the coast near Santa Marta.
Odebrecht, the Brazilian construction giant whose name has become synonymous with corruption thanks to close to a billion dollars in bribes to governments across Latin America and Africa, did not stop at obtaining contracts on corrupt basis.

The company and its business partners also violated and ignored environmental laws on at least one of its headline projects in Colombia, according to a new report by Colombia's Controlaria.

The Controlaría found 442 violations of the environmental licenses of the $4 trillion peso-plus project, of which Odebrecht is part of the consortium. These involved waste water disposal, lack of reforestation, noise, mishandling of wildlife, and others.

The consortium "is not only not complying with the terms of the environmental licenses, but is not making any effort to comply," the Controlaria wrote.

Odebrecht bribed officials throughout
Latin America.
(Image: Notimerica)
But that's only the beginning of the scandal: It turns out that the National Environmental License Authority, the ANLA, did not fine the consortium a single time for those violations.

And even worse, other megaprojects, such as the dredging of the Magdalena River and the repair of the
Canal del Dique, are being carried out without even bothering with environmental permits, and in the case of the river, the ANLA has not bothered to oversee the project for nine years, the Controlaria found.

Is this a matter or corruption or just sheer apathy and laziness by supposed government watchdogs? Probably both.

For one of the planet's most biodiverse nations, and which claims to treasure its natural wealth, this situation goes way beyond scandalous. And it's in addition to the inherent damage done by these proyects, such as drying out wetlands, dumping silt into rivers and oceans, and facilitating deforestation by slash and burn farmers.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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