Judge Moro: Systemic Corruption Can Become a ‘Sad Memory’ of Brazil’s Past

Sergio Moro, Americas Quarterly, 05/25/2016

More than two years after the start of the critical phase of the so-called Operation Car Wash, now is a timely moment for some reflections. These reflections do not necessarily apply to cases where judgment is still pending since, in a penal process, there are particular circumstances and criminal responsibility always depends on specific proof.

Looking at the cases already judged, there have been to date about 10 rulings which were specifically related to crimes of corruption in contracts at Petrobras. In seven of them, the convicted were executives of the biggest construction companies (as corruptors), executives of Petrobras (as the beneficiaries of undue benefits) as well as intermediaries between these two groups.

But the criminal scheme that contaminated Petrobras goes well beyond the corruption of those at the company. In at least two cases there was a conviction of ex-federal legislators who had received benefits from bribes agreed with Petrobras officials. In a third case, it was proven that money from the bribe had been directed to illicit financing of a political party.

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