Michel Temer’s brief stint as president (about two and a half years) was riddled with corruption allegations. He was the first Brazilian head of state to face indictment requests while still in office. By the time he passed the presidential sash on to Jair Bolsonaro, Mr. Temer was facing ten different inquiries. As we pointed out on January 2, it was only a matter of time for him to find himself inside a jail cell.
As it turned out, Michel Temer was detained in the latest phase of Operation Car Wash, the Federal Police’s long-running investigation into corruption at government agencies and state-owned companies. Operation “Decontamination,” as it was baptized, is, in fact, an offshoot of three previous Car Wash stages: Radioactivity, Pripyat, and Brotherhood. As the first two suggest, these consisted of probes into Brazil’s nuclear power sector, in particular, the construction of the Angra 3 nuclear plant in Rio de Janeiro.