Following the 12 July conviction and sentencing of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on corruption charges as part of the Lava Jato (Car Wash) investigation, Transparency International Chair José Ugaz said:
“The conviction of former President Lula is a significant sign that the rule of law is working in Brazil and that there is no impunity, even for the powerful.
“Lula is not the only high-level politician who is the focus of corruption investigations. The current president, Michel Temer, who is from the opposite end of the political spectrum, is also facing corruption charges, as is Senator Aécio Neves, who ran against former president Dilma Rousseff in the last presidential elections.
“The Brazilian Congress and the Supreme Court will also have to decide on these two cases. They must act with impartiality and there must be no impunity.
“The Lava Jato scandal has touched politicians of all parties and Brazil’s most powerful businesspeople. It is not surprising the Lava Jato investigators and judges are now facing attacks from all sides. This is proof that corruption does not distinguish between ideologies or political parties. Transparency International calls for guarantees that the investigations can proceed and that all judicial processes remain independent and free from interference from any political party.”
The Lava Jato investigation is focussed on the deals made by politicians and businesspeople in exchange for contracts. Transparency International honoured the Lava Jato team with its 2016 Anti-Corruption Award for its courageous and dedicated work in the fight against corruption.