Brazil’s Supreme Court Message: We’d Better Learn to Live with Corruption

Brazil's AMB president, Mozart Valadares Just when the AMB (Brazilian Magistrate Association) thought that Brazil has finally decided to tackle down corruption, they had another surprise coming. Brazil STF (Supreme Federal Court) has decided not to prevent candidates listed on the "corruption dirty list" from taking part in this year's October municipal elections.

The Supreme Federal Court will only analyze the matter upon returning from their July recess. The STF's argument is simple: Being investigated for corruption does not disqualify anyone from being a political candidate.

Regardless of that, rumors have it that the Supreme court seems already convinced that nothing can really be done. According to Mozart Valadares, AMB president, the judicial system should be working in accordance with real ethical and moral standards:

"The Judiciary system should protect those who abide by the law, not those ones who make use of its resources and formalisms," stated AMB's president.

An article published by daily newspaper Folha de S. Paulo indicated that, if the law were approved, many candidates already condemned by the justice for corruption practice, including homicides, would not be allowed to be candidates in the coming election.

If this was not enough, Senator Jarbas Vasconcellos reported that even if the voting were to take place, it would more likely not be approved since the majority of congressmen are not coming to parliamentary sessions. "We cannot approve this law under such pressure, I cannot accept that," stated Senator Vasconcellos. "I have no lawsuit against me," he added.

While reluctance surrounds the issue and Brazilian congressmen don't seem that worried, a few members of congress are still fighting to move the issue ahead. This is the case of Deputy Demóstenes Torres, from Goiás: "Our goal right now should be the application of more severe measures, before municipal elections take place," he defended.

Debates apart, the file will more than likely remain closed, as the president of CCJ (Constitution and Justice Commission of the Senate), Deputy Marco Maciel has already decided there will be no way congressmen will make any rush decision on the matter.

The AMB President is still hopeful that the STF will reconsider and will adopt a preliminary decision to allow the justice system to impugn against corrupt candidates. "I hope that the STF will revise their decision, once they are able to analyze extremely severe cases, including already established legal decisions".

The decision by the STF has shocked Brazil. Just two weeks ago, mayors of several cities in the country have been accused of corruption involving the PAC (Growth Acceleration Program), a federal project. While fighting against inflation Brazil has also to keep an eye on another monster: corruption. The happy ending is still uncertain.

Edison Bernardo DeSouza is a journalist, having graduated from the  Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo, Brazil. He lived in the US and Canada for close to 10 years and participated in volunteering activities in social works agencies. DeSouza currently lives in São Paulo where he teaches English as a Second Language, and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics and human rights articles.

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