A corruption scandal wrecked Brazil’s economy. Now, workers face the consequences.

From the Washington PostRicardo Coelho was a 50-year-old engineer at the peak of his career when he traded his calculator for a pair of eyebrow tweezers.

Once a top executive at the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht, he found himself stranded with no prospects two years ago when the firm’s chief executive was arrested and jailed, triggering the loss of 100,000 jobs. With his savings dwindling, Coelho opened a hair removal salon, Eyebrow Design, in a mall on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

“I had 27 years of experience and a diploma from Brazil’s best university, but I couldn’t even get an interview callback,” he said.

Coelho is one of thousands of skilled workers trying to navigate Brazil’s wrecked economy in the wake of Operation Car Wash, a sprawling investigation that has used plea-bargain deals to trace corruption from a Brasilia gas station to the highest levels of government.  …



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