The cost of corruption in Brazil

The cost of corruption in Brazil

On 15 March thousands of Brazilians will take to the streets to protest corruption. The scandal unfolding at Petrobras, the country’s oil giant, has exposed a web of deceit that involved alleged bribery and kickbacks among top politicians and top businesses.  Thirty-four sitting politicians and 18 companies linked to the scandal face investigations.

The people want answers. Corruption, as Transparency International has always said, is not a victimless crime. 

The problems at Petrobras exacerbate an already weakened economy where jobs across many industries are under threat.

  • Petrobras has lost more than two-thirds of its market capitalisation in the past year.
  • 18  companies linked to the scandal face investigations.
  • The speakers of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate face investigation.

Accountability

The people will be asking for accountability. Those who designed, used and profited from this corruption must face the consequences.

A strong deterrent, that is blind to privilege, both political and social, is the only way to limit (if not stop) a repetition of this sorry tale.

It is worth remembering that the Petrobras scandal, popularly known as Petrolão, or big oily, was being perpetrated at the same time that the Supreme Court was hearing testimony in another political bribery scandal known as the Mensalão, or big monthly payments.

The Supreme Court held firm to hand down prison sentences to those convicted in the Mensalão scandal. They must do the same for those convicted of corruption in the Petrolão scandal. 

The framework to prevent corruption in Brazil is relatively strong on paper with the exception of whistleblower protection legislation.

Transparency International research on the state of corruption in Brazil suggests that the country has made good progress in the past three years passing key anti-corruption laws, but that it is stymied by a political system that makes the cost of entering politics too high. This only encourages corruption among the political classes.

It is alleged that some Petrobras divisions diverted 3 per cent of their value into slush funds for political parties. Mensalão was all about bribing politicians.

It is unlikely that Brazil’s president will be impeached now because of the Petrolão scandal. Under the Constitution that can only happen for misconduct in the current term. President Rouseff’s second term started in January.

Investigating and bringing to justice those involved in the Petrobras scandal can act as a framework for reform.

For any press enquiries please contact press@transparency.org

Latest

Support Transparency International

Support Us

Next week governments can take a step to close down secrecy jurisdictions. Will they?

National financial regulators attending the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) plenary in Paris 16 – 21 February have the opportunity to significantly reduce money laundering, corruption and terror financing. They must not squander the opportunity.

Why don’t the victims of bribery share in the record-breaking Airbus settlement?

Last Friday, French, UK and US authorities announced that Airbus would pay record penalties for foreign bribery. Notably absent in the agreements are any plans to share the penalty payment with the countries where the company was paying bribes.

Nadie es perfecto

Los países con las puntuaciones más altas en el IPC, como Dinamarca, Suiza e Islandia, no son inmunes a la corrupción. Si bien el IPC muestra que los sectores públicos en estos países están entre los menos corruptos del mundo, la corrupción existe, especialmente en casos de lavado de dinero y otras formas de corrupción en el sector privado.

مشكلة في الأعلى

Переполох на верху

Страны с самым высоким рейтингом по ИВК, такие как Дания, Швейцария и Исландия, не защищены от коррупции. Хотя ИВК показывает, что государственный сектор в этих странах является одним из самых чистых в мире, коррупция все еще существует, особенно в случаях отмывания денег и другой коррупции в частном секторе.

Problèmes au sommet

Les pays les mieux classés sur l’IPC comme le Danemark, la Suisse et l’Islande ne sont pas à l’abri de la corruption. Bien que l’IPC montre que les secteurs publics de ces pays sont parmi les moins corrompus au monde, la corruption existe toujours, en particulier dans les cas de blanchiment d’argent et d’autres formes de corruption du secteur privé.

Индекс восприятия коррупции 2019

Индекс восприятия коррупции 2019 года выявил, что огромное число стран практически не показывает улучшения в борьбе с коррупцией. Наш анализ также показывает, что сокращение больших денег в политике и содействие инклюзивному принятию политических решений необходимы для сдерживания коррупции.

Social Media

Follow us on Social Media