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Bolsonaro Tight-Lipped as Minister Faces Calls to Resign over Lula Scandal

June 11, 2019

Brazil’s justice minister is facing growing calls to resign after a series of politically explosive leaks that some observers believe could have a profound effect on Brazilian politics and the administration of the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro.

Sérgio Moro became an A-list celebrity in Brazil for leading the historic “Car Wash” anti-corruption investigation.

He controversially took his job last year after helping jail Bolsonaro’s key election rival, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, and has been widely tipped as a future president himself...

Brian Winter, the editor-in-chief of Americas Quarterly, said it was possible the leaks could lead to Lula’s release.

“For this kind of conduct to have been revealed is at the very least devastating for the image of the Car Wash probe and it could also result in the nullification of the case against Lula,” said Winter, who knows Moro and expressed concern over his decision to take a job in Bolsonaro’s government last year.

The shockwaves would also be felt across the region, in countries such as Peru and Argentina where major corruption investigations linked to Car Wash are playing out.

“People in the anti-corruption community around Latin America were furious with Sérgio Moro when he accepted this job last year [because of the appearance of political impropriety] and they are 10 times as angry now … because it affects their work,” Winter said. “It allows the corrupt to say: ‘I am being unfairly targeted too.’”...

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