Operation Car Wash

brazil, corruption, power

Operation Car Wash is a large corruption investigation in Brazil that led to the depositon of Rouseff last year and is an ongoing effort to oust corrupt politicians and business leaders. It’s a great longread (after a while I though it should become a movie) about the inception of the operation, the way politics and power is operated in Brazil and how small changes can lead to large consequences. At some point it seems because of the vastness of the Brazilian democracy and the consequently expensive campaigning required for some sort of win across constituencies, a stable supply of funds must come from friends in secure high places: Brazilian industry such as Petrobas. It also shows how power and politics are so thoroughly intertwined, something that is actually rather new to my naive self. Politics is often not about good ideas, there are a nice side-effect, if we are lucky. The party that enabled operation Car Wash, the Workers Party, to which Rouseff belonged, has been a victim of it, because of that unavoidable mix-up with power (no party can provide the president without funding, thus corruption). The author ends with the worry that new politicians from other parties are not nearly as transparant as the Workers Party was, and it is not certain that Car Wash will have lasting effects on the extent that corruption is part of Brazilian politics. The way Brazilians protest, the fact this investigation was possible is hopeful and as far as I can tell points to a perhaps young but healthy civil society that is able to defend its democracy against power and corruption in the long run. Let’s hope current events in the United States are also subjected to and followed-up by actions such as we have seen in Brazil.