Power

Parliamentary immunity: two words that explain Brazilian politics

parliamentary immunity justice brazil
Parliamentary Immunity has equaled impunity in Brazil. Photo: Fotos Publicas

Few institutions in Brazil are as highly regarded as Operation Car Wash. For 95 percent of Brazilians, the investigation should continue and scrutinize the country’s entire political class. In over four years, Brazil’s most comprehensive take on corruption has amounted to 140 convicted defendants. Guess how many of those were politicians in office?

You guessed right: none.

In Brazil, highly ranked officials enjoy a privilege known as “foro privilegiado” – our parliamentary immunity. It grants them the right to only be prosecuted and tried by the Supreme Court. This could in theory be quite dangerous for politicians, since Supreme Court...

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