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Peru: Anti-graft vandals target statue donated by Odebrecht

January 27, 2017 GMT
An ice cream vendor waits for clients at the base of a replica of Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ statue defaced with a spray-painted message that reads in Spanish: "Odebrecht get out of the country," in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. The $1 million dollar statue, donated to Peru by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, has been vandalized to protest corruption stemming from massive bribery scandal involving Odebrecht. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
An ice cream vendor waits for clients at the base of a replica of Rio de Janeiro's famous Christ statue defaced with a spray-painted message that reads in Spanish: "Odebrecht get out of the country," in Lima, Peru, Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017. The $1 million dollar statue, donated to Peru by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, has been vandalized to protest corruption stemming from massive bribery scandal involving Odebrecht. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

LIMA, Peru (AP) — A replica of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ statue donated to Peru by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht has been vandalized to protest a massive bribery scandal involving the firm.

The 21-meter (69-foot) statue overlooking Peru’s capital was inaugurated in 2011 by then-President Alan Garcia. The $1 million statue was widely seen as a vanity project by Garcia.

This week, vandals sprayed slogans on the statue reading “Alan is Guilty” and “Odebrecht Get Out.”

Odebrecht last month admitted in a plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department that it bribed officials to the tune of almost $800 million to win business in 12 countries. In Peru, it paid $29 million to officials in the three governments since 2000.