Brazil under the spotlight


The biggest corruption scandal in Brazil this year has taken place in President Dilma Rousseff´s office.

A few years ago, the rising economic power in Brazil was something many people were talking about. Nowadays, a huge economic scandal has taken center stage. Protests on the streets of Brazil have taken place, asking for Rousseff to be revoked from office.

According to Priscila Heller, a Brazilian journalist living in the U.S, the 2014 elections in Brazil were known for empowering a majority of high-class businessmen, millionaires, religious and military leaders.

Heller states that the scandal is about political, social and economic issues as well.

“The issue happening now, in 2016, started when corruption and money laundry scandals were brought to light by the media…many politicians from different political parties were involved in what was called ‘Operacao Lava Jato’,” Heller said.

Not only is the current president engaged in this case, according to Brazilian resident Paula Lázaro, but also Brazil´s former president, Ignacio Lula Da Silva. Some people have gone to jail while others remain under investigation.

“It is the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil so far,” Lázaro said.

Rousseff´s office is also tied to another scandal related to ‘PETROBRAS,’ a Brazilian national petroleum company said Richard Sansone, a Portuguese, and Latin American Humanities professor at Valencia College.

Professor Sansone asserts, based on friends and colleges currently living in Brazil, that Brazilians are not “shocked” by this. An important percentage of people in Brazil belong to the “low” class, either C, D or E, he explains, which has lead to a series of corrupt politicians in the South American country over the years.

Heller´s explanation is not far from Sansone´s point of view. She asserts that this scandal affects the economy of Brazil and the way it will be seen from now on.

“PETROBRAS is a federal company…scandals involving an institution that theoretically should be the representation of the trustworthiness of a country will definitely shake the trust other countries would have when investing and doing business with Brazil,” Heller said.

TV, radio and even social media have not played a noteworthy role in the United States regarding their “neighbors” business and problems. Many U.S. residents are not even aware of the kind of scandals that usually take place in Latin American countries.

It is more likely to hear the news from friends or relatives, rather than from any mass media, which sounds unbelievable with so many outlets connecting people worldwide nowadays.

For Heller, social media is the best way to keep aware of what is going on back home. She says social media is her voice, “A voz do povo e’ a voz de Deus”, “People´s voice is God´s voice,” Heller said.

“I cannot even hear on the radio, that there is something going on with the Brazilian presidency,” Sansone added. He also stated that there is not much information in the news about neighboring countries like Colombia, Venezuela, Mexico and other important partners for America.

“In order to safeguard our future we need not to build walls but bridges,” Sansone said. Americans need to be aware of what is going on with their neighbors, so that they can help with a bright future in the Americas, which might solve many safety, educational, and legal issues that we are currently dealing with in the United States.

This case seems to be huge for the history of Brazil, while there is still much more to discover in the coming months.