The Political Insights website published Today April. 30th a very interesting article signed by Adriana Melchor who highlights the effects of operation Car Wash (Lava Jato in portuguese) on Latin American politics, exploring whether another such moment is needed to sustain the anti-corruption efforts.
“Brazilian politicians are not alone in their demise. Operacao Lava Jato, widely viewed as Latin America’s most extensive anti-corruption investigation to date, implicates a number of public officials in other parts of the continent.” she wrote.
According Melchor “Lava Jato has had reverberations across the entire Latin American continent. The resignation of Peru’s former president, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, is in large part explained by business ties with Odebrecht and the fateful release of videos allegedly showing Kuczynski’s allies offering lawmakers a share of public work projects in return for political support in his impeachment vote. Officials from other Latin American countries, including Venezuela and Bolivia, have also admitted to bribery in connection to Odebrecht.”
Besides more corruption “Lava Jato confirms an uncomfortable reality about the rule of law in Latin America — namely that many government officials in the region have illegally amassed wealth at little to no cost to their careers.”
“Equally, the investigation is proof that accountability to the public is being taken more seriously than ever before. Lava Jato has managed to break a terrible habit of turning a blind eye to extensive webs of bribery and other forms of criminality within governments.”
“Lava Jato will affect elections in Latin America during 2018. This year, 350 million citizens are expected to participate in presidential votes across Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Venezuela, Costa Rica and Paraguay. Left-right affiliations will bear some importance in voter preferences, but citizens are largely predicted to make their choice based on their reaction to the corruption scandals that ravaged their continent. Citizen security and weak economic growth will also be top of mind for those casting their ballots in Latin America this year.”