Brazil’s huge corruption scandal is spreading to the rest of Latin America

From the Washington PostLIMA, Peru — For more than two years the “Car Wash” corruption mega-scandal engulfing Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest construction company, has roiled Brazil.

It contributed to the drive to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, landed numerous powerful people behind bars, helped stall the world’s ninth-largest economy, and led to a $3.5 billion corporate fine — a world record in a graft case.

Now the scandal is metastasizing across Latin America, where Odebrecht had numerous contracts to build huge public infrastructure projects in 10 countries from Argentina to Mexico.

On Thursday, Peruvian authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Alejandro Toledo, president from 2001 to 2006, even offering a 100,000 sol (roughly $30,000) reward for information leading to his capture. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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