We’ve already seen how the foxes are often in charge of the henhouse in Brazil’s Congress, with soy farmers running the environmental commission, convicted corruptors sitting in the justice commission and an evangelical pastor accused of racism heading the human rights commission.
But now it appears the foxes are not only running the place but would like to pull down the wire fences safeguarding the integrity of the Brazilian constitution of 1988. Continue reading »
The trial of those accused of involvement in the mensalão, the scandal by which senior figures in the government of former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva allegedly engaged in vote-buying in Congress, may be over. But the ruling Workers’ Party, several of whose leaders were convicted by the Supreme Court, is only now coming to terms with the question of who should pay, literally, for their crimes. Continue reading »
Brazil is still basking in the successful conclusion of its so-called “trial of the century”, the mensalão case, in which senior former members of the government of ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva were convicted of implementing a vote-buying scheme in Congress in the early years of his leadership. The case was hailed as the beginning of the end of Brazil’s culture of impunity, in which politicians and the rich rarely are held accountable for their actions.
The beginning of the end, perhaps – but still very far from the end, unfortunately. Continue reading »
Remember the hacker who exposed Lula’s loot? And remember how that wasn’t much of a collection for a president accused of corruption? Well, apparently, Lula has even less property than the hacker claimed. Continue reading »
Brazil’s former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is facing plenty of pressure these days over allegations he was directly involved in the country’s biggest corruption case, the Mensalão.
Now comes an expose of what are supposedly his properties. Continue reading »
Brazil’s national flag proclaims two values – Order and Progress. Now there are signs of movement on both fronts.
Only one week after the Supreme Court handed out tough jail sentences for corruption to a group of senior politicians, breaking the spell of impunity that Brazil’s rulers have enjoyed for five centuries, comes another verdict along a similar bent. Continue reading »
Astonishing news from Brazil on Monday night: politicians are going to jail. Not just being convicted of crimes, you understand: actually going to jail.
It was big enough news in October when Brazil’s supreme court began handing down guilty verdicts to those accused of involvement in the mensalão, a vote-buying scheme allegedly operated in Congress in 2003 and 2004 by people close to then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. That those people will really do time is a huge advance for the rule of law and respect for institutions in Brazil. Continue reading »
Innocent until proven guilty. That is the case for those accused in the Banco Cruzeiro do Sul fraud trial as it should be for anyone who is facing a court process.
But that does not mean that the judges should also go soft on due procedure, as has often been the case in Brazil in the past, with rich and powerful suspects rarely facing any form of detention. Continue reading »
By Paulo Sotero of the Wilson Center
Democracy is not for the faint-hearted… It requires hard work, constant attention, takes a lot of time to build and can easily be undermined by political polarization, regressive campaign finance rules and deficient laws on political representation. This month, two major events shed light on both the successes and failings of Brazil’s quarter century old, vibrant democracy. Continue reading »
It is not often that the endless corruption scandals and political squabbles in Brasília make their way into the brokerage reports of Wall Street and Faria Lima, São Paulo’s financial district.
But in the past few weeks, the word “Mensalão” has begun appearing with more frequency in analysts’ notes. Continue reading »