Ecuador selects new VP after Odebrecht scandal conviction

Ecuador's new vice president Maria Vicuna flashes a thumbs up as she leaves the National Assembly, in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018. Ecuador has chosen Vicuna to replace Jorge Glas, who was sentenced to 6 years in jail for his role in a bribery scheme involving the Brazilian company at the center of Latin America's biggest corruption scandal. (AP Photo/ Dolores Ochoa)

QUITO, Ecuador — Ecuador has chosen a new vice president to replace Jorge Glas, who was sentenced to 6 years in jail for his role in a bribery scheme involving the Brazilian company at the center of Latin America's biggest corruption scandal.

Lawmakers selected Maria Alejandra Vicuna in a vote Saturday. The 40-year-old psychologist previously served as interim vice president and minister of urban development and housing.

Glas was convicted in December, becoming one of the highest-ranking leaders in the region to lose his post as a result of the Odebrecht scandal. The construction company has admitted to paying $800 million to politicians, their campaigns and political parties in order to secure lucrative public works contracts.

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