Articles by

Benjamin Fogel

Benjamin Fogel is doing a PhD on the history of Brazilian anti-corruption politics at NYU, and is a contributing editor with Jacobin and Africa is a Country.

Brazil’s Never-Ending Crisis

This essay examines the class dynamics, political rationale, and consequences of Brazil’s anti-corruption investigations and right-wing anti-corruption protests from 2013 to 2018. Since 2014, Brazil has been plunged into political crisis following Dilma Rousseff’s electoral victory; this political crisis has been driven by the largest anti-corruption investigation in Brazil’s history — Lava Jato (“Car Wash”). Led by previously obscure regional judge Sérgio Moro, Lava Jato has led to the indictment of almost the entirety of Brazil’s political class for corruption and the imprisonment of leading politicians and businessmen, including former president Lula da Silva. This essay makes the case that far from being a necessary step in ending Brazil’s culture of political impunity and endemic corruption, Lava Jato has been a politically driven process launched by a faction of Brazilian capital against the Workers’ Party (PT) and the party’s allies in business.