• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Brazil’s Corruption Holds Back Economic Freedom

    Fresh charges of corruption are shaking up the Workers Party of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, as The Wall Street Journal reported last week. Reforms are long overdue.

    The most recent “Rosegate” scandal stems from official charges brought by the Federal Police (Brazil’s version of the FBI) after an investigation of the involvement of an aide to former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in a cash-for-influence scheme. The investigation was prompted “because a government worker who said he had accepted around $50,000 to help a firm win a contract blew the whistle.”

    Heritage’s 2012 Index of Economic Freedom reports that corruption is often an obstacle to investment in Brazil and hinders the daily operations of companies, both Brazilian and foreign-owned.

    In 2010, corruption investigations of politicians from opposition and government-coalition parties resulted in prison sentences for two governors. Since then, even higher-profile scandals have come to light. Between June and September 2011, President Rousseff lost five cabinet-level officials. None face criminal charges, but four left after allegations of corruption were levied against them.

    In November 2012, José Dirceu, Lula’s one-time chief of staff, was sentenced to nearly 11 years in prison after being convicted for a scheme to buy votes in Brazil’s legislature and other corruption charges.

    Let’s hope that these prosecutions are a sign of stronger and more mature judicial institutions in Brazil that are committed to maintaining the rule of law for all rather than just protecting the powerful, the privileged, and the politically favored.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    Comments are closed.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.