Chief Justice Toffoli says Lava Jato destroyed Brazilian Industries

Dias Toffoli, Chief Justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court, accuses the US DOJ-backed Lava Jato investigation of destroying the national construction and petroleum industries.

by Vanessa Grazziotin

Last Monday (16), the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper published an interview with Supreme Court Chief Justice Dias Toffoli, which deserves to be read by everyone.

The headline reads: “Toffoli says Lava Jato destroyed businesses and the Public Prosecutors Office didn’t act transparently.” In other words, the Chief Justice admited what we have been saying for a long time.

The Lava Jato investigation was not effectively created to fight corruption – it was created to implement a policy based on the interests of international capital in Brazil, especially US interests. The fight against corruption is something that has to be conducted by the judicial, legislative and executive branches of government together, and primarily by society as a whole. This fight has to be permanent because corruption, unfortunately, is an integral part of the capitalist society that we live in where commodities, money and property matter more than people. The fight against corruption should never be confused with a fight against the business sector, whether public or private. But this is exactly what happened in Brazil under the guise of a fight against corruption.

The Lava Jato investigation had two primary goals. The first was to criminalize the political opposition and make it impossible for the left to continue governing Brazil. The second was to destroy strategic Brazilian companies and economic sectors such as oil and gas. But they did not only destroy Petrobras. Lava Jato also destroyed Brazil’s most important construction and engineering businesses, which were operating worldwide.

This is exactly what Chief Justice Dias Toffoli says in his interview. What happened in Brazil would have never happened in the United States or Germany. There, entrepreneurs are punished, but companies aren’t normally punished. The State will subsidize and even even nationalize private companies to prevent them from folding.

These two aspects of the Lava Jato investigation should never be forgotten. Today, the man who is reminding us of this is the President of the Supreme Court, who makes another criticism about Lava Jato that I also agree with – that there is a lack of transparency in the Federal Public Prosecutors’ Office.

Toffoli directly criticizes the National Public Prosecutors’ Council. There has never been a moment in history with so many accusations and so much material evidence  against public prosecutors without the application of any effective means of punishment.

I hope that Chief Justice Toffoli’s comments, together with everything that The Intercept has already revealed about crimes committed by the Lava Jato task force in the Vaza Jato scandal, will help the Brazilian population understand what the real goal of the Lava Jato investigation was. It was never a fight against corruption, but a fight against a national development project and social inclusion.

This article was translated and edited from Brasil de Fato by Brian Mier. It can be seen in its original Portuguese here.