Brazilian Court Decision Opens the Door to Impunity for Corrupt Politicians

On Wednesday, the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil voted to allow the Congress to decide the fate of its members. The 6 to 5 overturns a previous ruling to suspend Senator Aécio Neves.

Aécio Neves was elected to the Senate from the state of Minas Gerais in 2011. He was previously the governor of that state and President of the Chamber of Deputies.

Senator Neves was suspended by the Court from the Senate in May 2017 in connection to corruption allegations against him involving the meat packing company, JBS. That decision was over turned in June and reaffirmed in September until being overturned again recently.

The Court’s decision to give Congress the ultimate say over the status of its members could prove to be incredibly detrimental to any effort to combat corruption.

Currently, 230 members of the Brazilian Congress are being investigated for breaking the law and await trials in front of the Supreme Federal Court, which is the only entity with the authority to try sitting members of the Chamber of Deputies or the Senate.

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