By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The list of politicians to be investigated for corruption, released on Tuesday by Supreme Court Justice Luiz Edson Fachin, reaches almost every political party in Brazil, but especially the country’s three leading political groups, PT, PMDB and PSDB.
According to government news sources former President Rousseff’s party, the PT, has the most politicians on the list, sixten, followed by the PMDB of current President Michel Temer, with fourteen and the PSDB, of defeated presidential candidate and current senator, Aecio Neves, the PSDB, with eleven.
PT (Workers Party) party representatives in congress were reported complaining about the public disclosure of investigations without the defendants being aware of what they are accused of.
PT stated that the action ‘criminalizes politics in the country and a system that until recently allowed the corporate financing of electoral campaigns’. In a formal statement, the party also said that all those from the party named in the investigations ‘will prove their innocence’.
The PSDB party issued a statement defending a thorough investigation of the accusations. “We trust that they will be conducted within the strict respect for procedural rites, with and ample right for defense,” says the statement. For the PSDB party leadership the investigations will allow the truth to prevail, putting an end to ‘rumors and insinuations’.
The PMDB party did not issue a formal statement, allowing those being accused of responding themselves to the accusations.
For the founder of Odebrecht however, that is no surprise, since illicit campaign contributions and bribes to politicians have been occurring for the past thirty years.
“What we have in Brazil is not something from five or ten years. We’re talking about thirty years. All that is happening is an institutionalized business. A normal thing, due to the numbers of parties [involved],” Emilio Odebrecht is heard saying in one of the testimony videos released on Thursday.
The patriarch of the family business, however, says he is bothered by the reaction of some to the news. “For thirty years it has been done and what surprises me is when I see all those politicians, the press, everyone [act] as if this were a surprise.”
Adding, “That bothers me. It does not exonerate our responsibility… but we come to look at this [corruption, bribes] as normal, because after thirty years these things become normal,” said Odebrecht in his testimony.