Brazil Adds Up the Theft by Its Politicians: US$ 5 Billion

Corruption has cost Brazilian taxpayers US$ 5 billion in the last four years according to a report published Sunday, August 20, in the daily newspaper O Globo, which also highlights that a third of all Brazilian federal Deputies face judicial investigation.

The report on the US$ 5 billion, which virtually evaporated with corruption, is based on 50 operations undertaken by the Brazilian Federal Police, Internal Revenue Service and the Attorney General Office.

O Globo points out that the money involved in those 50 cases and which extends to all branches of government and at all levels, could easily help finance three Pan-American Games, which the state of Rio do Janeiro is hosting in 2007.

The Director General of the Federal Comptroller Office, Luiz Navarro said that "corruption had disseminated into 70% of local governments throughout Brazil, basically because controls are too fragile".

O Globo also includes a report from Transparency Brazil and a parliamentary committee showing that 31.3% of all Lower House federal members from the richest states of the union São Paulo, Minas Gerais and Rio do Janeiro are under investigation for cases related to alleged corruption actions.

Possibly democratic Brazil’s major corruption scandal began in mid 2005 when the Workers Party of President Lula and other smaller members of the ruling coalition were accused of a major under the table payments racket to ensure Congressional support for the administration’s legislative program.

The scandal got the name of mensalão (big monthly allowances). The money was skimmed through publicity contracting from government owned companies and the private sector in exchange for favors.

Mercopress

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