Brazilian legislation facilitates corruption


Source: Gazeta do Povo, 07/12/2008

Brazil has at least seven legal provisions that make it difficult to combat
corruption and facilitate illegality in public administration and crimes of the
white-collar (see box). The possibility that the accused
present numerous appeals against court decisions and mild penalties for
who commit crimes against public property are some points of the legislation
that act as a barrier to punish the corrupt and

All of this leads the population to have the impression that the laws in Brazil
benefit the rich and the powerful. “There is a tendency in the country to punish
black, the poor and young. Penitentiaries show this situation. There is a
tolerance within society to white-collar crimes and crimes
financial, committed by educated and wealthy people ”, states the promoter Antônio
Carlos Bigonha, president of the National Association of Promoters of

Judge Sérgio Moro: “Brazil is the country of resources”

Judge Sérgio Moro [Ivonaldo Alexandre / Gazeta do Povo]

The sanctions provided for those who defraud a bidding process and against
those who commit theft exemplify the differences in treatment provided for in
Brazilian legislation for public agents and the population in general. The law
provides for a fine and imprisonment of two to four years for those who defraud competition
public. In this case, detention is carried out in an open regime.

For theft, the punishment is four to ten years of detention, under
closed - even if the stolen object has a lower value than fraud in
bids. "We are not here defending the thief, saying that he must have a
minor penalty. But this situation shows that there are two weights and two measures for
punish two similar crimes, ”says prosecutor Mateus Bertoncini, of the
Paraná State Public Ministry. “The first caused an individual loss
and the second a collective loss, which has a serious impact on society. ”

In addition to a lenient sentence, the corrupt and the corrupt also manage to postpone for
completion of proceedings against them. “In order not to blame a
innocent, Brazilian law ends up freeing the guilty ”, says the president
executive of the Brazilian Institute of Competitive Ethics (Etco), André Montoro

In the opinion of Judge Sérgio Moro, from the 2nd Federal Criminal Court of Paraná,
this situation will only be possible with a change in criminal procedural legislation.
“There is no point in passing laws increasing penalties. What has to be is a process
more efficient criminal law that guarantees fundamental rights, but that is more
efficient. Brazil is the country of resources. We know where the process starts,
but he doesn't know where it ends, ”says Moro.

Stopped projects

According to a survey by the NGO Contas Abertas, there are today in the Chamber of
Deputies 22 bills that could facilitate the fight against corruption
ready to be voted on conclusively. One of the proposals, PL 168 /
1993, has been waiting to enter the plenary voting agenda since 2001. The proposal
deals with the ineligibility of candidates with a dirty record in court, that is,
who has already been convicted in any judicial instance. Candidates' candidacy
dirty sheets, which is released today, was widely debated in the municipal election
this year.

“We dispatched 23 letters to Congress this week requesting that these
proposals to be voted on next week. We want the next Tuesday
(December 9, World Day to Combat Corruption) is taken a step further in
fight corruption, stop talking and take a step further in this
fight ”, says the director of the NGO Contas Abertas, Gil Castello Branco.

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