Bolsonaro Declares Brazil Corruption-Free and Ends Carwash Probe
08 Oct 2020

President Jair Bolsonaro said he’s put an end to the country’s long-running Carwash probe, which has sent hundreds of Brazil’s political and business power brokers to jail, because corruption is no longer an issue in his government.

The far-right president, elected in 2018 on a law-and-order platform, said he was “proud” to see the end of the operation that, since its creation in 2014, landed behind bars former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, his political rival, as well as chief executives of construction companies who were sentenced for participating in a large bribery scheme that diverted billions of dollars from public coffers.

“I ended Carwash because there is no more corruption in the government,” Bolsonaro said during an aviation event in Brasilia. “I know this is no virtue, this is an obligation.”

While the operation is still ongoing — earlier Wednesday, police launched the 76th phase of the probe — Bolsonaro’s administration has been dismantling the structure behind Carwash for months, with many of its members resigning of moving to other positions. Sergio Moro, who was the lead judge and public face of the operation before joining the government to become Justice Minister, resigned from his position in April, accusing Bolsonaro of trying to meddle in the federal police.

By Murilo Fagundes, Bloomberg, 7 October 2020

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