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The way forward against corruption in Brazil: commitment to democracy, human rights and freedoms

The result of the 2018 Brazilian general election sent a clear message: scandal after high-profile scandal has made corruption a central concern for the Brazilian electorate.

Corruption of the scale revealed in ‘Lava Jato’ and related investigations rightly generates outrage. However, outrage that escalates into hatred can lead to support for populist and undemocratic solutions that are opposed to the values of the anti-corruption movement.

Corruption has the greatest impact on the most vulnerable in society. It limits rights and freedoms, and increase inequality. Any politician elected with a mission to clean up government must ensure that the most vulnerable people in their country are protected and given equal access to their rights; that the scourge of corruption is driven out and not replaced with systematic disadvantage based on race, ethnicity, gender, ideology, income or sexual orientation.

The fight against corruption is a fight for human rights, social justice, democracy and equality.

The fight against corruption should unite and not divide.

Any government elected on an anti-corruption platform must take concrete measures to:

  • increase and protect the space for civil society and social movements to operate safely and effectively;
  • create a free and safe environment in which the media can investigate and expose wrong-doing and hold the powerful to account without suffering any sort of intimidation or retaliation;
  • strengthen democratic institutions, rule of law and checks and balances against the abuse of power.

We urge the president-elect of Brazil, as well as the country’s governors and parliamentarians, to honor the people's mandate by promoting the public interest with integrity and a steadfast commitment to democracy.

We hope that through constant opposition to corruption, and respect for democracy and the rule of law, politicians will restore the Brazilian people’s trust in their representatives.

Together with our national chapter, Transparência Internacional - Brasil, Transparency International reaffirms its commitment to supporting Brazilian society's fight against corruption. This is a fight that will only be won with the support of elected representatives, democratic institutions and, above all, through a united and active citizenship.

We will vigorously defend the right to voice independent criticism, and will use this right constructively, together with all those who, regardless of political choices, share our vision of the fight against corruption: a struggle for prosperity, social justice and peace. If it is not for these values, it will not be on our behalf.

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