Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Guatemalans Ousted Their President In 2015. Now They’re After His Replacement.

This article has been updated. It took more than 20,000 protesters marching in the streets of Guatemala City to force then-President Otto Pérez Molina to resign and face corruption charges in 2015. Two years later, Pérez Molina is gone – but the thousands of anti-corruption protesters are back, and they’re taking aim at the new president, Jimmy … Read more


How Mexico’s Anti-Corruption Fight Went Off-Track

Eighteen months ago, I wrote in AQ about the success of Mexico’s citizen-driven corruption fight in Congress. Civil society groups, academics and activists had pushed for the rejection of a watered-down anti-corruption bill and instead presented their own, sharpened version of the legislation. This citizen’s bill, called #Ley3de3 (or #Law3of3) promised not only to help identify, … Read more


On Corruption, They Still Don’t Get It

If you were a Mexican attorney general allegedly hiding your Ferrari from tax authorities, a former Brazilian minister trying to squirrel away $16 million in ill-gotten cash, or a Uruguayan vice president accused of using official funds to buy jewelry – well, you just had a very bad week. All of them got caught, in one … Read more


Rio’s Olympics Were a Raging Success! Really!

No matter what you may have read elsewhere, Rio de Janeiro’s 2016 Olympic Games were a massive success. OK, so the event was billed by former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva as Brazil’s time to shine, “an opportunity without equal, increasing Brazilians’ self-esteem, consolidating recent achievements and inspiring new progress.” On that front, it’s … Read more


Rio de Janeiro’s Party Is Over. Who Pays the Bill?

I teach at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, one of the most important educational institutions in Brazil, with more than 30,000 students. Broad programs of affirmative action have ensured that many of those students are from poor backgrounds, often the first members of their families to go to college. They are part of … Read more


Pardinas: Mexico Needs an International Commission to Explore Espionage Claims

Mexico is experiencing a dramatic crisis in leadership and should call an international commission to investigate reports that spyware bought by federal agencies to uncover criminal activity was instead turned on critics like lawyers, journalists and anti-corruption activists, said Juan E. Pardinas, one of Mexico’s leading transparency advocates and one of the espionage targets. Pardinas … Read more


Brazil’s Year of Living Dangerously

In May 2016, the Brazilian Senate impeached President Dilma Rousseff in the middle of her second term, amid economic recession, corruption scandals and street protests. She was replaced by her vice president, Michel Temer. One year later, Brazilians are discussing Temer’s impeachment, amid economic recession, corruption scandals, taped recordings that could incriminate the chief of … Read more


Why Brazilian Politics Needs a Radical Makeover

Brazil is one of the top 10 economies globally, but it fails to meet too many of its population’s basic needs. It is one of the OECD countries with the highest public spending on education – yet Brazilian students perform worse on international tests than those in other OECD countries. Half of all Brazilians still lack access to basic sanitation and 35 million lack … Read more


Conoce a 5 de los jueces más valientes de Latinoamérica

Read in English Odilon de Oliveira tiene 68 años y está preocupado por su jubilación– pero no por las razones que uno se imaginaría. Siendo uno de los jueces brasilerosmás vocales, de Oliveira ha mandado a docenas de narcotraficantes conocidos a prisión por largos períodos. Pero su trabajo ha venido con costos— él y su … Read more


Brazil’s ‘Car Wash’ Probe: Tell Me How This Ends

During their first year in the spotlight, the young federal prosecutors leading the “Operation Car Wash” corruption probe seemed to handle themselves with an eerie, almost cinematic grace. From the case’s obscure roots of money laundering at a gas station, to its eruption into an unprecedented scandal that helped bring down Dilma Rousseff’s presidency, the … Read more


Argentina’s Quiet (Giant) Step Against Corruption

With anti-corruption efforts making noise throughout the hemisphere, Argentina is quietly on the brink of a major victory. A draft bill that would change the way the country prosecutes malfeasance seems like a simple fix. But if passed, the legislation could have a major effect on the way businesses treat – and crackdown on – … Read more

brazil protest

How to Get Brazil (And Latin America) Completely Wrong

It’s been yet another rough week for Brazil’s international image, with an Olympic mascot shot dead in an absurd accident and another national political figure dragged into scandal. But the biggest blow of all came from Declan Ryan, co-founder of the Irish budget airline Ryanair, who told an Argentine newspaper that he was considering expansion … Read more

Sergio Moro

Judge Moro: Systemic Corruption Can Become a ‘Sad Memory’ of Brazil’s Past

Editor’s note: Moro is the federal judge overseeing “Operation Car Wash,” the historic investigation of corruption at Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras. This piece first appeared in Portuguese in Exame magazine, and can be seen here. The English translation has been lightly edited for clarity, context and length. More than two years after the start … Read more


Argentina to Expand Use of Plea Bargaining, Inspired by Brazil

With the use of plea bargaining, a Brazilian legal team has recovered $785 million stolen in the Lava Jato (Car Wash) corruption scandal, and they’re hunting down another $5.9 billion. You can’t blame Argentina for wanting to use the controversial legal tool to see what it can recoup, too. Inspired by Brazil, Argentine President Mauricio Macri is laying … Read more

Policia Federal

The Brilliant Names of Brazil’s Anti-Corruption Operations: A Guide

This piece was updated on March 7. Operação Lava Jato, or “Operation Car Wash,” isn’t the only odd-sounding police sting to make waves in Brazil in recent years. Here are some of the names and stories behind the country’s most scintillating anti-corruption busts: Operação Lava JatoIn March 2014, a Brazilian currency exchanger named Alberto Youssef was caught … Read more

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