World

Brazil Rocked With Scandals That May Take Down President

REUTERS

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JP Carroll National Security & Foreign Affairs Reporter

Popular former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva is in the crosshairs of Brazilian authorities investigating influential businessmen and politicians, including current President Dilma Rousseff.

Among the actions Lula is accused of doing includes shilling out money to Brazil’s biggest construction company Odebrecht in a bid to land large contracts from foreign countries. Prosecutors believe Lula allegedly did this in exchange for free renovations to a beach front condo and a large estate, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Lula is a former union boss and a longtime political leader affiliated with Brazil’s Workers’ Party. The former president’s term  from 2003 to 2010 is one of the most popular in Brazil’s history, and he left the post with high approval ratings. Meanwhile, current Brazilian President Rousseff, who was mentored by da Silva, has an 11 percent approval rating and could be impeached for cooking the country’s books as to not reveal the economic hole it was sinking into.

Prosecutors are looking into the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras for multiple counts of bribery. Politically-appointed executives of the taxpayer-owned company took big bribes from various construction and engineering firms in exchange for inflated contracts. There was an understanding that some money from the inflated contracts would then go to the campaigns of Workers’ Party candidates.

Confirmation that prosecutors are investigating Lula comes just as he has recently spoken about considering a run for president again in 2018. At the moment, 70 percent of Brazilians consider Lula to be corrupt, according to AP.

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