This week the three capos of alleged organized (and very lucrative) crime in Latin America met in Brazil, after facing impeachment and indictments this past summer. Last time they met they were not facing collective prison terms in excess of 100 years.
Former Argentine President Cristina Fernandez Kirchner had meet-in-greets in São Paulo with impeached Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and (alleged) “maximum commander” of corruption and head of the “Car Wash” (not the fun one featured in the 1976 R&B hit) former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.
The auspicious occasion was to support the Brazilian Worker’s Party and discuss the political struggles in Latin America today and if anyone knows this subject well it is these three long-serving and tarnished former leaders.
Kirchner started her day by meeting with Lula at the Lula Institute we assume to discuss how left leaning politicos are out of favor in Latin America and will be put in a coffin by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump. Kirchner then joined Rouseff at Casa de Portugal, also in São Paulo, where they participated in an evening conference hosted by the Brazilian think tank Fundação Perseu Abramfounded by the Worker’s Party.
No mention at the highly touted conference of the trio’s summer of discontent: Kirchner was charged in May with losing $5BN of the country’s money, Rouseff was ousted in August for playing with the country’s books and in September Lula was charged with massive corruption.
It is hard to keep it all straight especially since all of them remain under investigation for other self-enrichment efforts, so here are some factoids:
* Nestor Kirchner, her husband president from 2003-2007 (think of the Bill and Hillary of Latin America), dies 2010 of massive heart attack.
* Cristina takes over presidency from 2007-2015.
* Charged after leaving office with currency manipulation in efforts to shore up the Argentine peso.
* Cost to Argentine: $5 Billion.
* Named as a suspect in a corruption and money laundering case involving rich friends.
* Quietly blamed with having a hand in death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman in 2015
* President from 2003 to 2011.
* Charged along with his wife and six others with corruption involving Petrobas and getting rich by bid rigging.
* Accused of being head of “Petrobras graft scheme aimed at keeping the Workers’ party in power by criminal means.” Lovingly known as Lavo Jato or Operation Car Wash.
* Cost to Brazil: $13 Billion
* Why do it: $1.1M in kickbacks and keep party and himself in power.
* President from 2011 until August, 2016 impeachment.
* Charged with covering up large deficits in the government budget by moving government accounts around.
* Being investigated for interfering with corruption involving Petrobas and enriching Worker’s Party.
* True crime: Destroying the economy with inflation and high taxes.
* Cost to Brazil: Billions and still counting.
* Why do it: Keep Worker’s Party in power and help her predecessor Lula return to office.
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