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Corruption in Brazil
President Rousseff Strikes Back?

Brazilian police raided the home and office of lower house President Eduardo Cunha and other elected officials this morning, looking for evidence of corruption. Bloomberg:

The police searches came only hours before the lower house ethics committee voted to push ahead with a probe against Cunha on allegations he lied to Congress. Cunha has denied any wrongdoing and his press office declined to comment when called and e-mailed by Bloomberg.

The latest events may renew pressure for Cunha, Rousseff’s principal detractor, to step down. The presence of police in the residence of the lower house chief is an embarrassment for the country and his permanence in office an offense to the Nation, the Party of Socialism and Freedom said in a statement.

That corruption is widespread in Brazil is no secret, so it’s possible that Cunha isn’t a law-abiding man. But it’s difficult to ignore the whiff of politics here: Cunha started the impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff. Dilma is a notoriously ruthless politician, and however legitimate the investigation of Cunha and his allies could be, it may be meant to undermine the impeachment efforts. “Today’s development could be seen as an attempt to cower and contain [Cunha’s party] the PMDB, which holds the balance in the impeachment process,” analyst David Fleischer told Bloomberg.

In the end, whether Cunha or Dilma is more corrupt doesn’t much matter. The longer this fight goes on, the longer it will be until Brazil can pass necessary reforms and strengthen its crumbling economy.

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  • Andrew Allison

    What makes you think that a country as deeply corrupt as Brazil can pass the necessary reforms?

  • Jim__L

    This is why “everyone does it” should not be an excuse. Corruption is a weakness for your enemies to exploit, so don’t do it.

  • Pait

    Your hunches are completely wrong here. The police and the courts are acting independently with basis on strong indications that several politicians and other people in positions of power, formed a criminal gang. Those included current supporters and opponents of the government. Now this interpretation may not be 100% correct but it’s the one that best fits the facts.

    You hint that the moves are all a series of conspiracies, suggesting that you are generating opinions without reading the news. When I want pure opinion without facts I can go to a pro-government Brazilian blog, so please fix your method.

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