Brazil’s Federal Police announced this week that it would shut down a crusading anticorruption task force, drawing a rebuke from prosecutors who warned the move could throttle investigations that have exposed systemic corruption among the country’s political and business elites.
The decision comes as President Michel Temer, who is among the politicians facing criminal charges stemming from the unit’s work, is scrambling to shore up support among lawmakers to avoid trial over bribery allegations.
Never mind that; the excuse is “to increase efficiency,”
The Federal Police, which announced the shift on Thursday, characterized it as a bureaucratic reshuffling of personnel and resources that would increase efficiency. In a statement, it said that members of the team known as the Lava Jato, or Car Wash, task force would be absorbed into the organization’s main anticorruption division to more effectively “fight against corruption and money laundering and facilitate the exchange of information.”
Task force members, Brazil’s national association of prosecutors and the federation of Federal Police call it “a clear setback,” which is quite the understatement when you consider that Lava Jato investigators have recovered more than US$3 billion so far, and they were not done.
This will have very negative effects on the economy. Prof. Steve Hanke tweeted,
Ending Car Wash task force= major setback in Brazil’s fight against corruption. Dragging whole economy down. https://t.co/JNqr5CFil4
— Prof. Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) July 12, 2017
In more bad news, Venezuelan drug lords are using the port of Santos, Brazil, to ship meth and cocaine to Europe via Guinea Bissau, Nigeria and Ivory Coast in Africa.
Lula got a 10-year prison sentence. Will he do time in jail?