Corruption in Brazil

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Corruption in Brazil is a pervasive social problem. Brazil scored 43 on the 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index, tying with Bulgaria and Greece, being ranked 69th among 175 countries.[1] Corruption was cited among many issues that provoked the 2013 protests in Brazil.[2]

Brazil is often cited for its strong legal framework aimed at curbing corruption and is considered a role model when establishing anti-corruption legal frameworks in developing countries; Nevertheless, enforcement remains weak.[3] Corruption is an important part of Brazil's politics. For years, embezzlement and corruption have been involved in Brazilian elections, and yet the electorate continues to vote for the same convicted politicians.[4]

To counteract widespread corruption in the private and public sector, Brazil has enacted the Clean Company Act 2014 (Law No. 12, 846). According to the Act, companies are responsible for the corrupt practices of their employees and can be held reliable without a finding of fault. Bid rigging and fraud are prohibited in public procurement, as well as bribery of Brazilian public officials. If found guilty of corruption the companies can be suspended, dissolved or fined.[5]

Police corruption is also common with gangs made up of policemen, firemen, guards, prison guards, and military soldiers known as militia. Ironically, corrupt police officers usually embark on a life of crime for the same reasons as the drug traffickers: poverty, lack of education and low ambition (poverty even more common among the military).

The militia control some favelas often imposing curfews enforced with violence. The threat of war is always imminent. Drug gangs wanting to rid themselves of rules imposed by the militia, demand that people don’t support the militia under the threat of death. As a result, residents live under a series of complicated and dangerous relationships[6]

Corruption in the Tax System[edit]

The Brazilian tax system is complex and reportedly prone to corruption. It is reported that tax collectors frequently ask for bribes to relax assessments and inspections, to refrain from pursuing acts of tax fraud or to give advice on the legal possibilities of reducing tax obligations.[7]

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

Brazil Corruption Profile from the Business Anti-Corruption Portal.