The echoes of corruption in Latin America

The fall of Kuczynski in Peru and the condemnation of Lula da Silva in Brazil demonstrate the extent and power of corruption in the region

The echoes of corruption in Latin America

If there is something that has predominated in the recent history of Latin America, it is the vulnerability of the continent to corruption, judging by the scandals that have erupted in several countries, which have ended governments and caused the fall of more than one president.

Leer en español: Los ecos de la corrupción en América Latina

Two major corruption scandals have been the focus of attention, debate and analysis in Latin American public opinion in recent weeks: the Petrobras case in Brazil and the Odebrecht case. In both there are repercussions that go beyond the persé scandals, because there are effects and implications, both in the political spectrum, and in the social context of each country.

The fall of PPK and the triumph of the Fujimori in Peru:

Although the Odebrecht scandal in Peru involves Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (PPK) and Keiko Fujimori alike (both received contributions from the corrupt Brazilian company during their presidential campaigns), PPK is the only one (for now) whose head rolled on behalf of that scandal, because he had to renounce the presidency and give power to Martín Vizcarra, before the Peruvian Congress voted again a motion to dismiss him and decree the presidential vacancy.

It should be recalled that in December 2017, PPK had already been about to be dismissed, however, the then president prevented the congress (majority Fujimorist) decreeing the presidential vacancy, thanks to a pact made between him and the Fujimori, that days later it was made public with the questioned pardon that PPK granted to former president Alberto Fujimori. PPK avoided losing its investiture, in exchange for granting freedom to Fujimori.

However, that 'impunity pact' made in December of 2017 was broken, and the Fujimori revived the presidential vacancy in the congress, threatening again the continuity of PPK. Before the imminence of the vacancy was voted in the congress, people close to PPK tried to offer perks to negotiate with Kenji Fujimori and other Fujimori legislators, in order to prevent the vacancy from becoming effective.

But that generated a major scandal, which the Peruvian press called: 'Kenjivideos', something that basically consists of the leak that was made, through videos, of the irregular negotiation to avoid the dismissal of PPK, who had no choice but to renounce the presidency, as a consequence of the publication of those videos.

Both Keiko, his brother and his father, achieved their goals: to remove PPK from the presidency, achieve Fujimori's pardon and evade responsibility in the Odebrecht case. However, the underlying problem, the corruption of the Brazilian company, remains in force and without being completely resolved, with the aggravation of the crisis generated after the departure of PPK.

Brazil: The fall of a caudillo:

To speak of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in Brazil, is to speak of a man who revolutionized the history of that country, thanks to the social demands he achieved for millions of Brazilians. However, corruption does not distinguish ideologies and thoughts, and as evidenced in recent events, the Brazilian leader was involved in a shameful scandal, which ended up taking him to jail.

Between the support and the indignation that generated the imprisonment of Lula da Silva, the reality at this moment is that the former Brazilian president was found responsible for receiving an apartment valued at $ 1.1 million dollars, by the engineering company OAS , a prebend that sought the favor of this company for the award of contracts by the state oil company Petrobras.

Lula, today sentenced to 12 years and one month in prison for that fact, has assured from a principle that the accusations against him are false, that he is innocent and that everything responds to a plot against him by his enemies, because to fight for the reduction of poverty and the improvement of the quality of life of Brazilians.

However, as in Peru, the underlying problem, corruption, remains unresolved, taking into account that although the condemnation of Lula generated an impressive media impact, he is not the only politician involved in acts of corruption; because even the current president, Michel Témer, has been implicated in events that are currently being investigated.

Brazil is divided between the sympathizers and the detractors of Lula, meanwhile the specter of corruption continues to permeate the State and the institutions of that country, while the others responsible for this continue in impunity.


Latin American Post | Samuel Augusto Gallego Suárez

Translated from "Los ecos de la corrupción en América Latina"

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