Brazil corruption scandals: All you need to know

What led to Rousseff being impeached?

Entirely separate to the Operation Car Wash allegations, Ms Rousseff – a close ally of Lula – found herself in trouble for allegedly moving funds between government budgets, which is illegal under Brazilian law.

She argued this was common practice among presidents, but her critics said she was trying to plug deficit holes in popular social programmes to boost her chances of being re-elected in 2014.

Ms Rousseff fought the allegations, arguing that her right-wing rivals had been trying to remove her from office ever since her re-election.

But she lost – and her vice-president, Mr Temer, of the centre-right PMDB party, was put in charge until January 2019, when the president to be elected in a vote next year will take office.

However, Ms Rousseff’s supporters do posit another theory when it comes to her fall from grace: they allege that the politician’s rivals wanted her gone because she would not shield them from the Car Wash probe.

Anything else you need to know?

Yes – there is one more scandal which involves those at the highest level: Odebrecht, which has also been caught in Operation Car Wash.

The Brazilian-based construction giant, which is Latin America’s largest construction conglomerate, has admitted bribing officials to secure contracts in Brazil and other countries in South America.

One of the companies it is said to have bribed? Petrobras.

In fact, its former CEO, Marcelo Odebrecht, who is serving a 19-year prison sentence for corruption, was found guilty of paying more than $30m (£21m) in bribes to Petrobras officials in exchange for contracts and influence.

He and 76 other Odebrecht officials are giving investigators information as part of a plea deal.

Mr Odebrecht may also yet bring down another president: he says part of the $48m he donated to both Ms Rousseff’s and Mr Temer’s campaigns in the 2014 Brazilian presidential election was illegal.

This is now under investigation by Brazil’s electoral court. If fraud is found, their campaigns could be annulled, which means that Mr Temer would be removed from office.

Both Mr Temer and Ms Rousseff deny all allegations of fraud.


Source: BBC World News