Statement on the leak of Lava Jato prosecutors’ messages
Issued by Transparency International in Brazil
Transparency International Brazil is closely following the reporting and dissemination of the hacked cell-phone messages of members of the Lava Jato Task Force, which has repercussions for the fight against corruption in Brazil and in the world.
Operation Lava Jato revealed criminal schemes and, in doing so, challenged powerful politicians and businesspeople in more than a dozen countries and on at least three continents. The investigations initiated in Brazil have effectively unraveled corrupt networks, recovering unprecedented amounts of public resources and prosecuting powerful individuals, many of whom have confessed to their crimes.
The operation was also crucial for bolstering a positive anti-corruption dynamic in Latin America, which has produced significant results in several countries thanks to the cooperation between Brazilian agents and their foreign counterparts.
In light of the recent revelations, we reaffirm the importance of conducting anti-corruption investigations and processes with absolute respect for the democratic rule of law, due legal process and in thorough compliance with the Brazilian constitution and laws.
For this reason, we expect the concerned authorities to provide clarifications about the alleged irregularities and violations of the principles of equality of arms and impartiality, documented in recent publications. Urgent and objective action is needed, in order to limit the manipulation of information and inferences which could undermine Brazil's unprecedented progress in the fight against corruption.
Equally crucial is the rigorous investigation of the violation of private communications, which not only constitute a crime, but also jeopardizes the personal safety of public officials and their families. However, attention to the security of anti-corruption operations and their agents should not be confused with restrictions on the work of journalists. Although the communications were acquired in a criminal manner, it is the duty of the press to publish information of public interest - always respecting legal and ethical considerations. Journalism is itself an essential pillar in the fight against corruption.
In fulfilling its mission to fight corruption, Transparency International Brazil cooperates with specialists, public officials, business people and leaders of social movements to improve laws, institutions and practice. We will continue to struggle to unite Brazilian institutions and society as we seek the changes necessary for successful and sustainable action against corruption.
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