Corruption scandals are a central part of Brazilian politics. Since the democratization of the country, every administration has had a scandal to call its own. From Fernando Collor, impeached due to a campaign financing scandal, past Lula, arrested in April 2018, all the way to current president Michel Temer, who dodged two indictment requests in 2017. And ever since Operation Car Wash was launched in 2014, it seems that not a week goes by without a new corruption accusation coming to light.
That explains why levels of public trust in Brazilian institutions are so low. Nearly all institutions have lost prestige, according to a recent Ibope Inteligência poll. Even the Armed Forces, which had gained popularity points over the past three years, are now trusted less. 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.