health minister Explaining Brazil podcast about Brazil politics economy society michel temer marielle franco soft power Lula’s arrest fake news venezuela crisis fake news MBL Marielle Franco economic recovery Brazilian left social media museum campaign bolsonaro stabbing brazilian democracy center-right presidential election election results political system violence crisis transition bolsonaro administration environment Brazilian history racism football black friday sugar inauguration president infrastructure são paulo dam collapse rio de janeiro war on drugs Brazil's pension system marielle franco trump car wash torture catholic priests china tax system privatization census political climate World Environment Day intercept march for jesus Corpus Christi mercosur-eu little africa argentina data protection lgbtq strike

Podcast Mar 27, 2019

Explaining Brazil #53: The new face of Brazil’s Operation Car Wash

This episode, The new face of Operation Car Wash, is supported by Fast Help. Fast Help is a Brasília-based IT company that is focused on cybersecurity. Protect your business by teaming up with Fast Help. Go to for more information on how to protect your company’s virtual space.

Launched in 2014, Operation Car Wash began as an ordinary bust by prosecutors from the southern Brazilian city of Curitiba, into what seemed to be a small money laundering scheme operating out of a gas station. Quickly, however, we realized there was nothing ordinary about Operation Car Wash. The investigation evolved into the biggest anti-corruption effort in Brazilian history, uncovering a network of corruption schemes that have put over 200 people in jail, including two former presidents, several state governors, members of Congress, and some of Brazil’s richest businessmen.

Five years later, the operation has completely changed. Its leading judge decided to join the government, federal prosecutors who worked with the operation were promoted, while investigators were named to top positions in the Federal Police. But that doesn’t mean that the investigation has grown any stronger. This week, we’ll talk about the changing face of Operation Car Wash.

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device:

Spotify | Apple Podcasts | SoundCloud | YouTube | Google Podcasts

On this podcast

Gustavo Ribeiro has extensive experience covering Brazilian politics. His work has been featured across Brazilian and French media outlets, including Veja, Época, Folha de São Paulo, Médiapart and Radio France Internationale. He is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Abril Prize for outstanding political journalism. He holds a master’s degree in Political Science and Latin American studies from Panthéon-Sorbonne University in Paris.

Ivar Hartmann is a professor at Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School in Rio de Janeiro, where he also coordinates the project “Supremo em Números” (The Brazilian Supreme Court, in numbers). Mr. Hartmann holds a masters’ degree from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul, an LL.M. degree from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. from the State University of Rio de Janeiro.

Euan Marshall is a journalist and translator who has lived in São Paulo, Brazil since 2011. Specializing in Brazilian soccer, politics and the connection between the two, his work has been published in The Telegraph, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Independent and Jacobin Magazine, among others. In 2014, he authored a comprehensive history of Brazilian soccer entitled “A to Zico: An Alphabet of Brazilian Football.”

This podcast was produced by Maria Martha Bruno. She is a journalist with 14 years of experience in politics, arts, and breaking news. She has collaborated with Al Jazeera, NBC, and CNN, among others, and worked as an international correspondent in Buenos Aires.

Do you have a suggestion for our next Explaining Brazil podcast? Drop us a line at

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Our content is protected by copyright. Want to republish The Brazilian Report? Email us at