Carlos Sánchez Berzaín
june 6, 2017
(Interamerican Institute for Democracy) Brazil’s prosecutors, investigators, judges, and the press have done a great job unveiling the political corruption network known as “lava jato”. They have shown the world how -by means of political decisions- Lula Da Silva, Dilma Roussef and their governments put together a corruption scheme with Brazilian funds, Brazilian construction companies, governments from the Forum of Sao Paulo, Castroists, socialists with similar agendas, and those who wanted to subordinate the people. But because the onslaught of those corrupted who are still governing in Cuba, Venezuela, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Bolivia, and other countries, the names of those who pocketed huge bribes have still not been revealed and Brazilian prosecutors who were privileged with all the investigative information run the risk of becoming accomplices or accessories to conceal the involvement of those corrupted who are most powerful.
Let’s remember that “lava jato” started investigating money and asset laundering and ended up investigating Petrobras a firm who solicited bids from big Brazilian construction companies as part of a program promoted by Lula and his then Minister of Energy Dilma Rouseff. In order for these bidding companies to get contracts awarded they were asked to pay bribes of around 3% that were doled out to politicians and businessmen. Brazil’s Attorney General estimates that only “between 2004 and 2012 around eight (8) Billion dollars were cashed by this criminal network.” This corruption scheme went international through big construction projects of Brazilian companies outside of Brazil and from 2003 on, just about all Latin American governments entered the corruption network that doled out more than three (3) Billion dollars in bribes to them.
After the scandal went public Lula Da Silva was legally charged and Dilma Rousseff was removed from office. The efforts of the Brazilian judicial system were complemented by U.S. Department of Justice’s actions that suddenly made the governments of Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba, and others, take “state policy decisions” to avoid the publication of the names of politicians implicated in accepting bribes from the Odebrecht Company and others. They have been successful thus far to the extent that, Rafael Correa -as an example- was able to get over the recent elections in Ecuador without revealing -neither from Ecuador, nor from Brazil or the United States- the names of corrupted politicians amongst whom his name and the names of his inner circle who are in the government of Lenin Moreno would be included. Not even requests from U.S. Congressmen have made these governments to reveal the information sought. This secrecy has turned into a LACK OF TRANSPARENCY.
In order to keep from officially becoming known the names of presidents, politicians, and civil servants who received payoffs, 21st Century Socialism dictatorships with total control of all branches and activities of the government throughout their states, as in Cuba and Venezuela, have swept the matter under the rug. Other governments, such as Ecuador, have pretended to pursue the eradication of corruption by implicating scape goats, and in some cases by implicating innocent people with staged operations, manipulating their judicial systems, and concealing the names of those involved. Bolivia and Nicaragua pretend to pass unnoticed since the corruption affair is being mostly focused on Odebrecht when in reality there were contracts with almost 15 Brazilian companies several of which have negotiated contracts with Evo Morales’ (Odebrecht, Quiroz Galvao, OAS, Camargo Correa) and Ortega’s (Odebrecht, Quiroz Galvao) dictatorial regimes
For the truth to be known thousands of case files and records need to be made public and be accessible to the world’s free press. To this day, however, they remain concealed and secret due to diplomatic, political, and legal pressure that is no more than concealment attempts upon which Castroist governments and their allies in corruption from other countries have concentrated all of their efforts. This is why the majority of revelations of the truth have happened in countries with democracy, free press, and new non-implicated governments, such as Argentina and Peru.
Efforts to keep the names of Latin American corrupt leaders from becoming officially known have ranged from political and publicity efforts to criminal efforts. They are attempting to show “that all Brazilian politicians were involved in the corruption scheme” deepening, as much as possible, the Brazilian political crisis, using “secretive mechanisms of investigation” to conceal the names, falsely employing the principle of “sovereignty” to ensure the monopoly of the information at the very hands of those corrupted to manipulate and launder it at will, drafting “cooperation agreements” between states with the same objective, contracting costly lobbying and powerful influential groups of attorneys to drown the information, seeking to bribe and threaten investigators, prosecutors, and judges with threats against their lives. It is the mafia, it couldn’t have been any other way!
This is why the gravest responsibility of Brazil’s prosecutors, judges, and the free press is now to reveal ALL INFORMATION, the transparency and the several times offered opening of the ENTIRE DOCUMENTATION WITHOUT ANY RESTRICTIONS. There is NO valid excuse since there isn’t any risk to the investigation. The people already know who are corrupted and only need to confirm it. This is about a matter of international law enforcement where arguments of sovereignty, stability, non-intervention, or inter-institutional cooperation have become excuses of those corrupted to protect themselves and continue to keep the ill-gotten monies that must be returned to the people.
The reluctance of investigators, prosecutors, and judges to reveal the information they have is a bad omen, they appear to be collaborative but to secure impunity and can be construed as favors to those corrupted, a supporting effort to the governments of Castro, Maduro, Morales, Ortega, and any and all whose impoverished people demand accountability from. The warriors for justice, the good prosecutors and judges do not deserve to become accessories to concealment and even less to become accomplices of corruption.
*Translation from Spanish by Edgar L. Terrazas – Member of American Translators Association (ATA # 634280).
Published in Spanish by Diario las Américas on June 4th, 2017.