Ten Reasons Why Sérgio Moro Cannot Be Absolved

After 16 months serving as one of the most ineffectual Brazilian Justice Ministers in modern history, Sérgio Moro, the disgraced former Lava Jato judge resigns from the far right Bolsonaro administration that he helped bring about. In honor of this event, Brasil Wire remembers ten times he disgraced himself, sullied Brazil’s judiciary, and broke the law.

By Brian Mier

Brasil Wire has published dozens of articles over the past 5 years about how the Lava Jato investigation critically wounded the Brazilian economy and rule of law, and opened the door for a sham election which propelled a neofascist clown to the presidency. With a cabinet full of far-right military officers, unqualified right wing conspiracy theorists, and religious wackos, they are practicing necropolitics while undermining the work of the W.H.O., the Pan American Health Organization and Brazilian governors during the worst pandemic in modern history. These articles can be accessed here, but for now, I’d like to list 10 of the most famous crimes committed by Sérgio Moro, which to date have been met with total impunity in the state of exception that he helped create.

10) Illegally leaking misinformation that falsely associated Presidential candidate Fernando Haddad with corruption, during an election season, after meeting with another candidate’s campaign organization.

9) Illegally ordering Brazilian federal police to refrain from seizing convicted felon, 2016 coup architect and former congressional president Eduardo Cunha’s cellphones.

8) Lying about former President Lula’s involvement in a “Petrobras corruption scheme” in order to transfer jurisdiction over the “triplex apartment case” from the region where the alleged crime took place, São Paulo, to his own district, then dropping the charges but keeping the case in Curitiba.

7) Ordering the wire tapping of Lula’s defense lawyers so that the prosecution could map out every possible move in advance. For this offense, which would cause immediate debarring in any other country in the World, Moro received a warning from a sympathetic Brazilian Supreme Court.

6) Illegally Collaborating with public prosecutors, over the course of several years, on an investigation which he was supposed to be impartially overseeing, that resulted in a trial which he was, bizarrely, allowed to also preside over. Collaborations including coaching the prosecutors on how to leak information damaging to the defendant to national and international media corporations and how to hide evidence beneficial to the defense.

5) Ordering the illegal wire tapping of phone calls made by the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, and leaking them to a hostile media on the eve of her impeachment, causing her popularity to plummet and, therefore, acting as a key player in the parliamentary coup which is documented by Oscar Nominated filmmaker Petra Costa in “The Edge of Democracy”

4) Interrupting his vacation to block a judicial order for Lula’s release from prison.

3) Failure to act on knowledge that the Lava Jato prosecution team was violating Brazilian national security law by bypassing the ministry of foreign relations and the justice department and engaging in informal communications with the US Department of Justice in the course of the Lava Jato investigation.

2) Attempting to destroy evidence in a case in which he was the defendant – the Vaza Jato scandal, revealed by Glenn Greenwald and the Intercept, which documents dozens of crimes committed by the Lava Jato task-force.

1) In ordering the paralyzation of Brazil’s 5 largest civil engineering companies in 2015, 500,000 construction workers were immediately laid off, there were over 1 million indirect layoffs, and, according to a study published in the BBC, that year, Sérgio Moro’s Lava Jato operation caused a 2.5% drop in GDP, exacerbating what should have been a minor recession during the build up to the 2016 Coup. Even Globo newspaper, which was one of the biggest media cheerleaders for Moro, admitted that Lava Jato caused R$140 Billion to vanish from the Brazilian economy in 2015.


By Brian Mier

Writer, geographer and former development professional who has lived in Brazil for 26 years. Former directorate member of the Fórum Nacional de Reforma Urbana (National Urban Reform Forum). Has lived in São Luis, Recife, Salvador, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Author of “Os Megaeventos Esportivos na Cidade do Rio de Janeiro e o Direito á Cidade” (CEPR: Porto Alegre. 2016). Editor of "Voices of the Brazilian Left" (Sumare: São Paulo. 2018). Editor of "Year of Lead: Washington, Wall Street and the New Imperialism in Brazil" ((Sumare: São Paulo. 2019) Irregular correspondent for the Chicago radio show This is Hell.