The Legacy of Icarus: Assessing the Impact of Lava Jato in Brazil’s Anti-Corruption Landscape

Former (and now current) Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s conviction at the height of Operação Lava Jato (also known as Operation Car Wash) in 2017 reinforced the appearance of a shift toward individual and corporate accountability in Brazil, but in 2019, Miller & Chevalier attorneys discuss in this guest article, Lava Jato began to crash.  Lula walked free from jail in November 2019 and on October 30, 2022, won the presidency, defeating the incumbent, Jair Bolsonaro. The Lava Jato task forces shuttered their doors abruptly in the middle of Bolsonaro’s term. The Workers’ Party is now suing Judge Sérgio Moro for his actions in Lava Jato. The lead prosecutor for the Parana Lava Jato Task Force, Deltan Dallagnol, was fined for defamation against Lula. In the article, James G. Tillen, Gregory Bates, Francisco Grosso, Fabio Molar Albano de Aratanha and Julia Herring detail how Lava Jato shaped the Brazilian anti-corruption landscape, and ask whether those changes will survive. See “Mani Pulite, Lava Jato and the Road Ahead for Anti-Corruption Efforts in Brazil” (Jan. 22, 2020).

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