Local June 23, 2015 | 8:49 am

Report sinks Dominican leaders deeper into Odebrecht quagmire

Santo Domingo.- On April 30 Epoca magazine, part of Brazilian media group O Globo, which politically opposes president Dilma Rousseff, reported ex-president Luis Inazio Lula da Silva lobbied abroad for the Odebrecht construction company, which has contracts worth billions in Dominican Republic.

The report "Suspected international influence peddling over president Lula" accuses the Brazilian leader of using his international influence to lobby for Odebrecht, for which he visited several countries, including Dominican Republic.

"Over the last four years (of his term), Lula traveled constantly to tend to his businesses (corporate). The destinations were basically the same – from Cuba to Ghana, through Angola and the Dominican Republic. Most of Lula’s trips are funded by the construction company Odebrecht, champion of multimillion dollar businesses with Latin American and African governments to which the BNDES (State-owned bank) gives them credit,” Epoca says.

It said Odebrecht benefited the most from cheap money from BNDES. "Last year alone (2014), a study by the Senate found that the company received US$848.0 million in loans granted to firms operating abroad , or 42% of the total financed by BNDES."

What he says about the Dominican Republic

On January 31, 2013 Epoca reported that Lula, bankrolled by Odebrecht, landed in the Dominican Republic, where he met with president Danilo Medina and ex-president Leonel Fernandez.

It stresses Lula’s and Medina’s friendship and affirms that the current Dominican president’s campaign was helped by the Brazilian’s Workers Party, which would have links to John Santanas, Lula’s and Rousseff ‘s publicist.

It said three months after that visit the Dominican Republic government announced a call for tenders "for the construction of a power plant in the region of Punta Catalina,” won by Odebrecht, despite its offered which more than doubled that of its competitor, a company from China which filed a lawsuit against the process.

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