Just How Bad Is Corruption In Brazil?
Sergio Cabral, former governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been sentenced to 14 years in prison on corruption and money laundering charges and is the latest in the ongoing saga of politcal scandals across Brazil that might feel very familiar to Americans.
Cabral served two terms as governor of Rio de Janeiro from 2007 to 2014. Cabral and his right hand man in the state's interior department Wilson Carlo Carvalho were convicted on charges of corruption after it was proven that they recieved bribes from private construction firms in exchange for awarding them pricey government contracts.
His arrest was just one of many investigations into government corruption dubbed "Operation Car Wash" that is sending shockwaves through the halls of Brazilian government at the state and national levels. Former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was removed from office in August 2016 amidst allegations of giving kick backs to her former employers at state-run oil company Petrobras.
Rousseff's running mate and current President Michel Temer is currently feeling the heat from the judiciary investigations into corruption. Although Temer is personally not under investigation, almost a third of his administration is. Temer is also denying the existence of a recording of him allegedly bribing a jailed official for his silence in upcoming investigations. Does any of this sound familiar?
The political and economic climates in Brazil haven't been looking good and don't seem to be clearing up soon. Rousseff's predecessor former President Lula da Silva will stand trial on corruption charges. Thousands of angry demonstrators marched to Congress in the capital of Brasilia to protest economic reforms that President Temer is endorsing and to demand his resignation amidst a storm of corruption and pay-for-play charges.