Many businesses saw their operations blossom too.
Among them, one stood out as a clear winner: Odebrecht group, which owns Latin America’s biggest construction company.
Under the leadership of chief executive Marcelo Odebrecht, whose grandfather founded the company, the group more than doubled in size and revenue in 10 years.
It now has 181,000 employees in 21 countries.
The company won contracts across the world – to expand the Caracas metro system, build a port in Cuba and carry out many infrastructure projects in Africa.
When Brazilian presidents travelled abroad, Odebrecht executives were regular fixtures in the usual business entourage.