Forget its ousted politicians. Here’s the real cost of Brazil’s corruption

The daily political dramas unfolding from sweeping anti-corruption probes in Brazil shouldn't obscure the damage corruption causes to the country’s long struggle against poverty and inequality, Antonio Sampaio points out.

Santo Andre favela in Sao Paulo

By Antonio Sampaio, Research Associate for Security and Development, IISS

This week, two more members of the Brazilian elite — including former president and current senator Fernando Collor — were charged with corruption as the country continues its sweeping “Car Wash” anti-corruption probe. The investigation has also resulted in a prison sentence for former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, factored into the 2016 impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff and nearly toppled the current president, Michel Temer.

But even as the political drama unfolds with almost daily damage to Brazil’s high-powered political elite, we shouldn’t allow these stories to overshadow the larger plot: the damage corruption causes to national infrastructure, socioeconomic development, businesses’ confidence and even foreign policy. These consequences will long outlast the individual stories that are now in the spotlight.

Read the full article at the Washington Post

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