Brazil’s corruption scandals may be the best thing to happen to Latin America

En Miami Herald / 19 mayo, 2017

(Photo: Igo Estrela Getty Images)

If you think that the corruption scandal swirling around Brazilian President Michel Temer is the only one that will shake Latin America in coming weeks, mark your calendar: There will be many more corruption-related headlines across the region starting on June 3.

That’s the day the attorney general’s office in Brazil will start disclosing the bulk of the names of government officials in 11 countries who took nearly $800 million in bribes from the Odebrecht construction giant in one of the region’s biggest corruption scandals ever. Unlike Temer’s latest corruption scandal, which surfaced after press reports of a tape in which he allegedly endorsed a bribe to a leading legislator, the Odebrecht revelations will touch political figures across Latin America.

Ironically, it may be one of the best things to happen in the region recently. It could spark an extraordinary public uproar, and become a turning point in the region’s age-old battle against corruption.

In the short term, these corruption scandals can rock countries’ economies. Brazil’s stock market plunged more than 10 percent on May 18, following the news about the Temer tape recording. And Moody’s credit rating agency said that the Odebrecht scandal will slow down several countries’ growth this year, because large-scale Odebrecht infrastructure projects have been halted, and many investors will become scared by upcoming revelations.

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Andres Oppenheimer
Es el editor para América Latina y Columnista de “The Miami Herald,” conductor del programa “Oppenheimer Presenta” por CNN en Español, y autor de siete Best-Sellers. Su columna “El Informe Oppenheimer” es publicada regularmente en más de 60 periódicos de todo el mundo, incluidos “The Miami Herald” de EEUU, La Nación de Argentina, El Mercurio de Chile, El Comercio de Perú, y Reforma de México.

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