Amid Attempts to Grant Amnesty to Politicians, Brazilians Take to the Streets Against Corruption

    Brazilian protesters in front of the National Congress - Antonio Cruz/ABr

    Brazilians furious at corruption demonstrated on Sunday in support of a politically explosive probe into high-level embezzlement and bribery, but turnout was lower than at previous protests.

    The long-planned day of nationwide demonstrations kicked off in the capital Brasília and Rio de Janeiro, before shifting to the nation’s biggest city, São Paulo.

    Protesters, many wearing the yellow shirts of the country’s beloved football team or draping themselves in the Brazilian flag, said a huge investigation known as Operation Car Wash must not let up in intensity.

    Organizers of the Take to the Streets group said that the objective was to express support for the Car Wash criminal investigation: “We must punish the corrupt, make a real cleanup and build a new Brazil.”

    With the number of politicians targeted by the probe rapidly increasing — reportedly now including around nine members of President Michel Temer’s cabinet – many in Brasília are trying to slow Car Wash down.

    Protesters focused their anger on a law putting all criminal cases involving politicians in the hands of the Supreme Court, which moves at a snail’s pace, taking years to bring prosecutions to trial.

    But compared to similar demonstrations over the last two years, Sunday’s event was smaller. Hundreds gathered in Brasilia and several thousand in Rio on the iconic Copacabana beachfront.

    The São Paulo turnout was far off the huge crowds that gathered over the last two years to call for the impeachment of leftist president Dilma Rousseff, who was eventually ejected last year and replaced by center right Michel Temer.

    Rogerio Chequer, head of Take to the Streets, told reporters in São Paulo that the protests were still significant. “The number is not our main focus today, it’s the message we’re sending,” he said. “If at the end of the day Brazil understands what’s happening in Brasília, then our objective has been met.”

    Operation Car Wash has uncovered a vast web of politicians and executives who fleeced state oil company Petrobras, with a lot of dirty money funneling into party election funds.

    The probe got even bigger this month with a request by Prosecutor General Rodrigo Janot to open new investigations expected to target more than 100 politicians.

    A week ago, Brazilians got a shock on a new front when police said they’d uncovered a scheme to bribe corrupt health inspectors at meatpacking plants to certify tainted meat. The revelation prompted several big markets, including China, to impose brief but damaging import bans.

    As Car Wash’s crusading chief judge Sergio Moro advances, a panicky Congress is trying to push back. Lawmakers have attempted to pass legislation that would pardon anyone who had received undeclared campaign donations in the past, while making it illegal in the future.

    This would effectively become an amnesty for politicians who took secret donations or what may have been plain bribes.

    Mercopress

    Tags:

    • Show Comments (0)

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    comment *

    • name *

    • email *

    • website *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Ads

    You May Also Like

    Former Brazilian president Lula with Antonio Palocci

    Another Lula Man Goes to Jail for Corruption: Former Finance Minister Palocci

    Brazil’s Federal Police arrested early this Monday, September 26, in São Paulo, former Finance ...

    Dilma Rousseff says goodbye to Palácio do Alvorada

    Rousseff Leaves Presidential Palace While Her Backers Take to the Streets to Protest

    Brazil’s former President Dilma Rousseff left Palácio da Alvorada, the official presidential residence, where ...

    Lula, Brazil’s Ex-president, One Step Closer to Jail

    Brazil’s Supreme Court approved a request to probe former President Luiz Inácio Lula da ...

    João Doria celebrates his victory with Geraldo Alckmin, São Paulo's governor

    High Abstention in Brazil Shows an Angry and Frustrated Electorate

    The first round of municipal elections in Brazil having transpired with no major incidents, ...

    Brazil's AMB president, Mozart Valadares

    Brazil’s Supreme Court Message: We’d Better Learn to Live with Corruption

    Just when the AMB (Brazilian Magistrate Association) thought that Brazil has finally decided to ...

    Plagued by Bribery Scandals Brazil Hosts Corruption Forum

    Brazil’s Federal Sub-Comptroller General, Jorge Hage, argued for public financing of parties and electoral ...

    An Update on Brazil’s Vote-for-Pay Scandal

    Since the middle of last year the Brazilian political scene has been mostly dominated ...

    A Brazilian fan rooting for the Brazilian team - Photo by Tomaz Silva

    World Cup 2018: The Beautiful Game in an Ugly World

    Football is a simple and beautiful game that gives joy to billions around the ...