Por: Alberto Silva

Petrobras Scandal: Murder is the Only Thing That Hasn´t Happened Yet

Workers' Party Senator Delcídio Amaral and his gang with banker André Esteves, founder of investment bank BTG Pactual, intended to deceive the Federal Supreme Court and obstruct justice in the Car Wash probe, help a convicted felon to escape and corrupt whoever was on their way. In addition, he diverted confidential documents from the investigation (bought them?) and trafficked influence. All to cover the embezzlement in the State-owned and parastatal oil company.

This branch of the so-called “petrolão” mafia was planning or committing more crimes this November, 20 months after the beginning of the Car Wash probe, after many arrests and convictions. In short, they didn’t care.

Thus, it is reasonable to assume that there is a great risk that another gang or important and maybe psychotic character of the Car Wash world is in action to bury crimes. Maybe literally. Now, given the degree of nastiness reached, the only thing that hasn’t happened in this case is that someone murders a witness, a police officer, a prosecutor or a judge.

It’s more than clear now how an economic intervention program created the conditions for our precocious oil curse even before there was enough oil. This is, of course, the plan that has begun in Lula da Silva’s administration and that has been carried out during Dilma Rousseff’s term: reinventing the rotten wheel, a grotesque parody, albeit reduced, of the “development” created in Ernesto Geisel’s dictatorship.

Before the addicted to social media binary debates protest, it is not a matter of condemning industrial policies in general; the large private sector, as seen in the world’s greatest banks, commit purely private crimes. That said, it should be noted that the many interventions, models and oil laws inspired by Rousseff are part of the historic menu of failures, inefficiencies that created environments conducive to corruption.

Policies that almost create monopolies or oligopolies, with import restrictions, protectionist and unrealistic demands to produce with national resources, deteriorate in black boxes. In dark environments, without competition, conducive to the mold of corruption, bribery, influence trafficking. What the schemes that favor some have of less harmful, but still serious, is the waste of scarce resources and productive power in negotiations of favors with public authorities.

One of these meltdown poles and a concentrated example of the mistakes listed above was Sete Brasil, a BTG Pactual partner – André Esteves’ bank – with Bradesco, Santander, Petrobras and its own pension funds. By the way, the reasons why Esteves is being accused have nothing to do with Sete.

In short, Sete was created to contract the construction and operation of oil drilling exploration platforms for Petrobras; there are 28, totalling $ 30 billion. The rest depended on the Brazilian Development Bank BNDES credit. Shipyards paid kickbacks to Sete employees and politicians to get contracts, one of Petrobras’ thick money channels, but far from being the only one.

This system must be unmounted. It has colonized the State, spread corrupt individuals all over – from the political elite to the centre – who have united to defend themselves and, to this end, turned citizens into hostages of embezzlement and paralyzed Brazil’s economy and its government.

(Via agências e Folha)



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