Imagine a scandal so big that it led to a president being impeached… and that was only scratching the surface. That is exactly what Brazil is experiencing with “Operation Car Wash,” which has revealed that corruption has become institutionalized in Brazilian government to a disturbing degree.
Indeed, it’s a scandal so large, it could bring down a second president.
Jonathan Watts took an in-depth look at the scandal for The Guardian. He finds $5 billion in bribes paid, with graft so systemic that payoffs were simply built into government contracts.
Arguably the least personally corrupt major political figure in the Brazilian mess is the former president Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached in 2016. Her support of plea bargaining is credited with cracking the corruption scandal as defendants turned on one another and there is no evidence she ever personally benefited from kickbacks. (That said, her approval ratings were in the single digits, so she’s hardly missed by the general population.)
Current twists include a judge dying in a mysterious plane crash and Brazil’s incumbent president Michel Temer seeming to have engaged in far more illegal activities than his impeached predecessor.
It’s a disturbing piece, but one that will make Americans feel slightly better about this country’s current political landscape.
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