Odebrecht was once a shining example of all-conquering Brazilian industry, taking on huge projects like the Simon Bolívar airport in Caracas and the Grand Parkway motorway in Texas.
They were also behind the renovation of Rio de Janeiro's iconic Maracanã football stadium, where the 2014 World Cup final was held, as well as both the opening and closing ceremonies at the Olympic Games two years later.
But the true reasons behind this majestic success started to become apparent from June 2015 when executive director Marcelo Odebrecht was arrested as part of the "Operation Car Wash" ('Lava Jato') investigation, which shed light on a vast network of illicit payments made to gain public works contracts.
Dozens of politicians have been caught up in the corruption scandal, which also involves state oil giant Petrobras, including President Michel Temer and ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva – who is currently serving a 12-year jail sentence for accepting a luxury seaside apartment as a bribe.
Temer, who steps down as president in October, was implicated by Marcelo Odebrecht, who struck a plea bargain by agreeing to testify against others in exchange for a reduced jail sentence.
Leading politicians from around the region have also been implicated, with Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stepping down as Peru president a day before an impeachment vote he looked certain to lose, accused of receiving a US$5-million bribe.