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Toucan Scams | A Corruption Double Standard

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Source: Brasil247

Translation: C.B.

In the sentence handed down on December 16, 2015, Judge Melissa Pinheiro Costa Lage Giovanardi of the Ninth Criminal Bar of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais) concluded that “given the sum total of the evidence presented, there is no doubt but that the accused, EDUARDO BRANDÃO DE AZEREDO, in order to run for reelection as the state governor of Minas Gerais in 1998, created a political and financial infrastructure in order to legitimize and launder enormous sums of cash that would later be used to fund his campaign. A complex criminal organization was set up, with a well-defined division of labor and operating methodically and constantly over a period of time.

«A robust slush fund was created to feed the election campaign, drawing on various sources, including public funds from COPASA, COMIG and BEMGE, which were used to take advantage of state-owned corporations. Using the advertising agencies of MARCOS VALÉRIO FERNANDES DE SOUZA, a process of laundering the illicit cash and distributing it to political allies [was set up] — said cash remaining undeclared in the campaign finance report presented to the State Electoral Tribunal by the PSDB-PFL.

The former Toucan governor was sentenced to 20 years and 10 months for the crimes of money laundering and misuse of public funds — in other words, the abuse of public office to siphon off public funds. …

Full sentencing statement here (pt-BR).

In her sentencing statement, the judge stresses that “given all the evidence gathered and analyzed, there can be no other conclusion but that the guilt has been properly assigned. It is certain that the accused, together with his peers, planned and executed the entire criminal enterprise in order to siphon off public funds from the state-owned companies …

This corrupt machinery, which later contaminated the entire political system, was invented by the Toucans in the 1990s and involved persons and corporations later tied to the «mensalão» [the «big monthly — a misnomer for a one-time distribution of cash], such as Marcos Valério, Cristiano Paz, Ramon Hollerbach, SMP&B Publicidade Ltda, DNA Publicidade and Banco Rural.

In the current scandal involving Petrobras, it is striking how many of the figures from the Toucan era are seen repeating the same corrupt practices and bribery schemes.

The PSDB has done all it can to prevent the investigation of the “complex criminal organization” created in Minas Gerais, much as it has with the corruption that took hold of Petrobras during the Cardoso administration and the constant stream of scandals in São Paulo during the party’s two decades in power there.

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Above: ca. 2012, candidates barred from seeking municipal office under «ethical bill of health» law — broken down by political party …

PT | 18
PSDB | 56
PMDB | 49

Ergo, the «PT corruPTo» meme does not reflect the facts despite high-profile cases of exception.