Venezuela’s Former Prosecutor General Accuses Maduro of Corruption

Luisa Ortega Díaz / "PGR VENEZUELANA E ALOYSIO NUNES" / Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The former Prosecutor General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, accused President Nicolás Maduro of corruption related to the Brazilian construction conglomerate, Odebrecht. Odebrecht is at the center of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation across Latin America.

Ortega Díaz served as Prosecutor General for a decade between 2007 and 2017. She was fired in August 2017 by the National Constituent Assembly, a legislative body created by Maduro to bypass the democratically elected and opposition-controlled National Assembly. Two weeks after she was fired, Ortega Díaz fled Venezuela for Colombia.

Towards the end of her tenure, Ortega Díaz was one of the few members of the government who openly spoke out about Maduro’s growing authoritarianism.

Ortega Díaz presented 18 principle pieces of evidence and 46 digital annexes as proof of Maduro’s crimes. She said that the evidence she delivered to the Court leaves no doubt “that Maduro is involved in corruption with Odebrecht.”

She added: “He is corrupt and a thief who has appropriated the money of the Venezuelans.”

“These tests must be exhibited so that the world knows how Nicolás Maduro and this band of criminals who occupy Miraflores stole Venezuelan money, which should have been destined for food and medicine. One of the troubles that Maduro had for assaulting the Public Ministry was to destroy this file; fortunately, we managed to preserve it,” said Ortega Díaz.

This is not the first time that Ortega Díaz has presented evidence against her former boss before the Supreme Court in exile.

In April 2017 Ortega Díaz presented documents which she claimed showed that Maduro engaged in corruption while in office. The Miami Herald reported at the time that one of the chief accusations was that Maduro received US$35 million in illegal campaign contributions from Odebrecht in return for construction contracts.

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