Unprecedented corruption among Brazil's top politicians revealed in unsealed JBS plea bargain testimony
Recall that behind the latest political scandal to grip Brazil, in which president Michel Temer was accused of paying hush money to the jailed former House speaker, Eduardo Cunha (who was responsible for the impeachment of Temer’s predecessor Dilma Rouseff) to keep him from dragging Temer down as well, and which yesterday led to historic losses for the the Bovespa, was a plea bargain by the top executives of Brazil’s meatpacking giant JBS, Joseley Batista and his brother Wesley, which among other things, included an alleged recording of a phone conversation in which Batista told Temer he was paying Cunha to remain silent, to which the president was recorded saying, “You need to keep that up, okay?“
Moments ago, Brazil’s O Globo newspaper reported that the latest episode in Brazil’s epic political corruption saga has been unveiled, and two things emerged. First, president Temer is under now officially under investigation for corruption and obstruction of justice.
Second, and more important, the contents of the JBS plea bargain testimony were disclosed, courtesy of Reuters, and they reveal corruption so pervasive that virtually every single current and past top politician has been implicated. Here are the details:
- JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY INDICATES BRAZIL PRESIDENT TEMER ALLEGEDLY RECEIVED 15 MILLION REAIS IN BRIBE IN 2014
- JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS COMPANY PAID BRIBE TO TEMER TO END PETROBRAS MONOPOLY ON NATURAL GAS
- JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS EX PRESIDENT LUIZ INACIO LULA DA SILVA RECEIVED $50 MILLION IN BRIBES IN OFFSHORE ACCOUNT
- JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS EX PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF RECEIVED $30 MILLION IN BRIBES IN OFFSHORE ACCOUNTS
- JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY INDICATES JOESLEY BATISTA PAID 30 MILLION REAIS FOR EX PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF’S 2010 CAMPAIGN
- JBS PLEA-BARGAIN TESTIMONY SAYS PAID SUSPENDED SENATOR, EX PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE AECIO NEVES BRIBE IN 2014 TO FAVOR COMPANY
- BRAZIL PROSECUTORS SAY JOESLEY BATISTA’S TESTIMONY INDICATES HE PAID EX HOUSE SPEAKER CUNHA MONTHLY BRIBES WITH TEMER’S BLESSING
Some more from Reuters:
Brazil’s Supreme Court released plea-bargain testimony on Friday that includes accusations President Michel Temer received 15 million reais ($4.6 million) in bribes in 2014 before he took office from executives of meatpacking giant JBS SA.
The testimony also claims former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva received $50 million in bribes in offshore accounts from JBS, while ex-President Dilma Rousseff took $30 million in bribes in offshore accounts.
If true, the plea testimony implicates virtually all top Brazilian politicians – from both the current and previous administrations – who have now been thrown under the bus for corruption and bribery, which while no longer surprising in all matters Brazilian, prompt one to ask: is there any politician left in Brazil who is clean “enough” to take over the presidency without fears of compromising recordings emerging just months if not weeks later, resulting in another political scandal and more chaos in the biggest Latin American nation.