On Friday, March 4th, the ever-widening investigation into corruption at Petrobras, the state-owned oil company in Brazil, ensnared former President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. Federal police raided his residence outside Sao Paulo and brought him in for three hours of questioning. Then, just yesterday, state prosecutors filed charges against Lula for money laundering, with regards to a beachfront villa they claim he owns and has kept hidden.
It’s all part of an investigation called “Operation Carwash,” or Lava Jato in Portuguese, over a vast network of kickbacks that Petrobras allegedly gave to a consortium of infrastructure companies and network of politicians across the party spectrum, but mostly to the governing Worker’s Party (PT).
When news of the Friday’s dawn raid broke, protests—some violent—erupted on the streets of Sao Paulo. Just a week before, Lula had declared that he might run for president in the next election and that he was the most honest man in the country.
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