Meet Luis Andrade
"I was fighting so that Odebrecht and partners would not take hundreds of millions of dollars from the Colombian people."
Who is Luis Andrade?
Andrade was born in New Orleans and grew up in Florida. He attended Christopher Columbus High School in Miami and the University of Florida in Gainesville. He later received an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. After a very successful 25-year career at McKinsey & Company, Andrade left his high-paying Senior Partner position to serve his parents’ country, Colombia. For too long, mismanagement and corruption plagued the National Institute of Concessions (“INCO”), the Colombian agency created to build the backbone of the country’s transportation infrastructure through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs). This agency was replaced with a new one designed to pave a new path forward for Colombia. Given Andrade´s experience and integrity, Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos, tasked him with creating and presiding over the new National Infrastructure Agency (“ANI”). During Andrade’s six-year tenure as the head of ANI, the agency designed and awarded the largest PPP program in Colombia’s history. Over $15 billion of PPP contracts were issued through a bidding process, which is internationally recognized for its transparency. Andrade’s program is now transforming the Colombian economy and is considered by multilateral agencies as the role model for other developing countries to follow.
Quick Case Facts
The facts below demonstrate the conflicts-of-interest and abuse of prosecutorial discretion in Colombia:
Andrade is NOT Being Charged with Bribery. It is well recognized that Andrade was an outsider from the corrupt government establishment. In fact, the Prosecutor in Andrade’s case agrees he did not accept bribes but alleges that Andrade’s decisions were somehow influenced by those who did take bribes from Odebrecht, such as former Senators Otto Bula and Bernado Elias.
Andrade opposed the cost-overrun claims of $250 million. Odebrecht and its partners made cost-overrun claims in excess of $250 million in the Ruta del Sol 2 contract. ANI, under the leadership of Andrade, refused to accept the claims because the contract clearly stipulated that cost-overruns were the responsibility of the contractor. Odebrecht and its partners applied significant political pressure, without success. As a result, the matter is now in the hands of an arbitration tribunal.
Andrade opposed the payout formula proposed by Odebrecht and its partners. Under Colombian law, if the award of a contract is deemed compromised by corruption, the contract needs to be declared void and terminated. That was the case of the Ruta del Sol 2 contract, which Odebrecht has already confessed was obtained through a bribe before ANI was created. Andrade’s position regarding the liquidation formula implied a payout $150 million lower than the one proposed by Ruta del Sol. Again, given the lack of agreement, the issue is being resolved by arbitration. Shortly after Andrade rendered testimony explaining his position in the arbitration tribunal, the Attorney General’s Office announced that charges would be pressed against him.
The Attorney General, Nestor Humberto Martinez, has significant conflicts of interest. Martinez was the external counsel to Ruta del Sol 2. In that capacity, Martinez rendered a favorable legal opinion in 2012 regarding the addition of the road section Ocaña-Gamarra to the Ruta del Sol 2 contract, which is the main object of the investigation against Andrade. In 2014, Martinez approved the addition of the Ocaña-Gamarra road section to the Ruta del Sol 2 project, in his capacity as Chief of Staff of President Santos and member of the Council for Economic and Social Policy. Martinez has been for almost two decades the main external counsel to Grupo AVAL.
False Evidence is Taking Over the Case. To justify the charges and to request preventive detention, the Prosecutor argued that Andrade tampered with ANI visitor entry records to hide visits that Senator Elias made to the agency. This allegation is based on the testimony of Juan Sebastian Correa which was obtained through a plea-bargaining agreement. Andrade can point to inconsistencies in Correa’s testimony and Correa’s clear motive to placate prosecutors given his clear involvement in Odebrecht’s graft. Correa was a low-level staffer at ANI who was working, without Andrade’s knowledge, for the interests of former Senator Bula and Elias. His testimony contradicts hard evidence, statements under oath made by Odebrecht executives in the context of their own plea bargain agreements, and Correa’s own previous testimonies under oath.
Abuse of Prosecutorial Discretion. All executives of Odebrecht and Grupo AVAL who might have known about or authorized illegal payments are free and, according to press reports, not being charged or being charged with lesser offenses by the Prosecutor. Andrade was given the opposite treatment.
Questionable U.S. Government Documents Used to Illegally Surveille Andrade. Mr. Andrade received a wiretap memorandum as part of ongoing court proceedings in Bogota, Colombia. Upon a FOIA request, the DEA stated it did not in fact have any records of Mr. Andrade or his associated phone numbers. The full DEA memo can be seen HERE.