Is “Operation Car Wash” the end of democracy in Latin America?

The scandal has shaken the inner core of many international governments

 Brazil corruption

The imprisonment of the former president of Brazil, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, started a new beginning for democracy in Brazil, but the probes of corruption are extending beyond the frontiers of said South American country. The former president of Peru Ollanta Humala and his wife have been put in pre-trial detention for money-laundering charges; the accusations stem from Brazil's expansive anti-corruption investigation known as “Operation Car Wash”. The Peruvian couple have been under inquiry during the past three years for allegedly accepting money from the Brazilian company, Odebrecht.

The president of Brazil Michel Temer is currently waiting to hear the verdict of the Supreme Court. Will it accept the allegations against him pertaining to bribery within said scandal? If so, the election that took Dilma Roussef out of office would mean nothing and he would also be forced to leave the presidency.

“Operation Car Wash” started as an investigation against money laundering, targeting Brazilian politicians that took bribes for elections. As the enquiry continued, the investigators discovered what seemed to be the biggest corruption scandal involving two of the most renowned companies within Brazil, Petrobras and Odebrecht. Soon, the outrage also affected other countries where governments had, supposedly, questionable ties, including contracts, with said corporations.

It is important to remember that the list of Brazilian politicians involved in the scandal was published later than it was expected due to the death of the judge in charge of the case; according to official sources, his plane crashed into the sea.  

Now former and current presidents are facing investigations because of bribes; with Humala’s detention and the situation of Timer, the Latin American democracy is being forced to change its rules and conditions.

Latin American democracy is in a challenging situation with the constant uproars in Venezuela, the rupture of political alliances in Ecuador, the corruption, in general, in South and Central America. This could be the opportunity to renew democracy and force it to evolve into a stronger and clearer option for the people and their necessities. Citizens from all over have the chance to see what is truly happening within their governments and, based on those facts, take smarter decisions in the not so distant future and demand change for the betterment of the region.

 

 Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella

Copy edited by Susana Cicchetto 

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