A few days before the start of the 2018 new year, Brazilians are optimistic about the Football World Cup and with skepticism about the election year. For the majority of the fans of the sport that moves billions of dollars, next year Brazil has real possibilities to conquer, for the sixth time, the international tournament.
Brazil is the greatest collector of soccer world championship titles (to use the North American expression), but since its first victory in Sweden, in 1958, never has the country lived such a prolong time without winning another title. The last conquest was in 2002, more than 15 years ago.
In the political field, on the other hand, the great majority of Brazilians are watching the preparations for the election that will define the new president of the republic, the new governors of the states, senators and representatives with immense caution.
The last few years were decisive in forming a widespread conviction that Brazilian politicians are among the most corrupt in the world. If Brazil has not yet received this title, 2018 may be the year of consecration.
Corruption usually goes hand in hand with populism, left-wing or right-wing, built on intuitive feelings and diffuse perceptions, such as promises of happiness, security, satisfaction and love. Victory goes to those who promise more and who have better marketing campaigns.
This formula is not a Brazilian invention. It has been the key to success, not only in Brazil, but also in Europe, United States and Asia. The difference between Brazil and the rest of the world lies in the impunity and benevolence of the State towards the corrupt.
Operation Car Wash was the first attempt to change the logic of impunity and start putting corrupt politicians and businessmen in jail, where merited. The political class has been doing everything in its power to neutralize the efforts of young judges and public prosecutors in their struggle for equal justice for all.
The last act of this unequal struggle came from President Michel Temer who decided to create a presidential pardon with the purpose of nullifying the sentences imposed by Operation Car Wash.
Supreme Court chief justice Carmen Lucia decided to suspend parts of “Christmas presidential pardons” ”A pardon is not and can never be an instrument of impunity.” said Carmen Lucia.
The government, for its part, has defended the pardons as constitutional. If it wins the argument then we will be moving towards another title: Brazil, the most corrupt country in the world.