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Colombia approves 627B pesos payment for Ruta del Sol II creditor banks

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Colombia approves 627B pesos payment for Ruta del Sol II creditor banks

Colombia's government has authorized the payment of about 627.00 billion pesos to creditor banks that helped finance the scandal-plagued Ruta del Sol II highway project.

According to a statement from the country's transportation ministry, the payment adds to the 1.34 trillion pesos the state has already paid to different stakeholders involved in the project, including construction workers.

The new payment amount includes 184.36 billion pesos for Banco de Bogotá SA; 168.68 billion pesos for Bancolombia SA; 101.24 billion pesos for Banco Davivienda SA; 58.44 billion pesos for Banco de Occidente SA; 50.28 billion pesos for Itaú CorpBanca Colombia SA; 44.11 billion pesos for Banco Popular SA; and 20.41 billion pesos for Banco Comercial AV Villas SA, El Tiempo reported.

Banks expect to collect an additional 1.24 trillion pesos of debt linked to the project, according to the publication.

"The government is convinced of the need to strengthen the confidence of domestic and international banks, investors and financiers in general," Transportation Minister Ángela María Orozco said.

Ruta del Sol II was canceled when Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht became embroiled in a wide-ranging corruption scandal that spread across multiple Latin American countries. Odebrecht has admitted to bribing government officials in 12 countries, including Colombia, where prosecutors believe the company paid $27 million to secure the Ruta del Sol contract.

As part of the same case, investigators have been probing the alleged involvement of a number of Colombian companies, including Grupo Aval Acciones y Valores SA and Corporación Financiera Colombiana SA.

As of Jan. 11, US$1 was equivalent to 3,153.60 Colombian pesos.