A sleazy schemer goes to jail at last
O Globo (Rio de Janeiro)
How satisfying that the man who orchestrated the downfall of Brazil’s former president, Dilma Rousseff, should now be in jail himself, says Jorge Bastos Moreno. In this year’s wave of arrests of sleazy politicians and businessmen, one name was absent: former parliamentary speaker Eduardo Cunha, a man who seemed above the law. His power base was among the backbenchers in the small parties, whose votes he brokered in exchange for favours. Several businessmen have admitted to depositing large bribes in his secret accounts, whose existence, furiously denied by him, has since been confirmed by Swiss banking authorities. He staved off investigation by threatening to reveal secrets and ruin reputations: he opened impeachment proceedings against Rousseff after she refused to speak out in his defence in a corruption probe last year. Now his luck has run out. In May the Supreme Court sacked him from the speakership; last month parliament stripped him of his office as deputy. An ordinary citizen once more, he was quickly picked up by police and jailed pending trial, to stop him absconding. It gives Brazilians hope that justice in their country hasn’t been utterly lost.