Latin American Weekly Report

03/09/2020 - Growing doubts over Brazil’s anti-corruption efforts

A Rio de Janeiro state governor is once again at the heart of an unfolding corruption scandal in Brazil. Wilson Witzel was suspended from office on 28 August over suspicions that he embezzled public funds through state contracts. This is a crime that has been frequently committed by previous occupants of the Palacio das Laranjeiras, the governor’s official residence in the city of Rio, many of whom are now in jail. The emerging case against Witzel therefore points to the corrupt practices of past administrations having endured. It also comes amid concerns that the fight against corruption is facing new setbacks in Brazil, concerns fuelled by suspicions of wrongdoing hanging over President Jair Bolsonaro’s family, and by the uncertain future of the ‘Lava Jato’ (Car Wash) investigation.

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