Power

Change to Brazil’s misconduct law brings more certainty but hinders anti-corruption fight

The Bolsonaro government has made sweeping changes to the so-called Misconduct in Office Law, making it harder to convict public officials for wrongdoing. Experts are split on the move's importance

Brazilian anti-corruption protester. Photo: Betto Rodrigues/Shutterstock

When Brazil created its Misconduct in Office Law in 1992, the country was feeling the winds of change. For the first time in three decades, the population at large was able to take to the street and protest against the government without fear of violent retribution from the military regime that ruled the country from 1964 to 1985.

The “Painted Faces” movement demanded the impeachment of then-President Fernando Collor de Mello — who was mired in corruption scandals — and paved the way for a set of rules to curb misdeeds and the improper use of public money. The feeling...

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