Today brought another big development in the ongoing and multifaceted "Operation Car Wash" anti-corruption investigation that has been going on in Brazil for some time now. We've talked about Operation Car wash a couple of times before. The Brazilian Supreme Court ruled today that former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be jailed before he can further appeal his corruption conviction.
Da Silva ended his presidency with an astonishingly high approval rating of 87%, having enacted a number of successful anti-poverty programs. But after his term ended the Car Wash anti-corruption investigation uncovered allegations of corruption on the part of the former president. The conviction that da Silva hopes to appeal is for accepting renovations to a beachfront apartment a larg construction companies in exchange for contracts with the state oil company Petrobras. The prosecutors allege that this particular infraction was just the tip of the iceberg and that da Silva orchestrated much of the much larger scandal that the Car Wash probe is meant to uncover. Since the scandal broke, da Silva's popularity has dropped, but he was still considered the front runner in the next presidential election. Now the viability of his campaign is in question as is whether he can legally run at all.
While many see this ruling as a victory against the impunity with which many politicians and other powerful figures act in the face of the courts and the rule of law, Lula da Silva remains extremely popular among many Brazilians. Protests had already begun before the Supreme Court handed down it's ruling. The court itself was split, handing down the 6 to 5 decision after deliberating late into the night.
We will keep a close eye on developments in Brazil. If you have business interests in Brazil, take advantage of Smith Brandon's special expertise in the country, including Portuguese language capabilities. From Political Risk Assessments to understand what the regions risks may be and Corporate Investigations to uncover fraud to Security and Safety Assessments to keep your employees and assets safe, we can provide you with many services to help you keep your business running in uncertain times.