In the very first document produced on Brazilian soil, Portuguese knight Pêro Vaz de Caminha announced to King Manuel I of Portugal the discovery of a new land. He also took the opportunity to ask the monarch for the pardon of his son-in-law, who had been banished to Africa. Political patronage, as we see, was present from the very beginning of Brazil’s history.
Scandal has become an integral part of Brazilian politics, it seems. Over the past four years, Operation Car Wash – among other probes – has exposed the deeply-rooted corruption relations between corporations and public officials. According to Transparency International, Brazil is ranked 79th of 179 countries in the NGO’s perception of corruption ranking. While that may not paint a particularly promising picture, the truth is that Brazil has taken steps towards fighting corruption.
In August 2013, the country approved the so-called anti-corruption law, which would revolutionize how this crime is dealt with by our Justice system. Until that point, Brazil didn’t recognize criminal liability from corporations. But the anti-corruption law changed that paradigm.