Carwash at Three Years Moves From Brazil Ground Zero to Diaspora

BloombergOne floor above the jail cell that’s been holding Brazilian construction magnate Marcelo Odebrecht for the past 21 months, Marcio Anselmo, the man who put him there, is about to pack up his office and move on.

It’s been three years now since the so-called Carwash investigation exploded onto the Brazilian scene and screens, its fuse lit in the southern city of Curitiba by Anselmo and his colleagues.

“Carwash is far from over, but my job here is almost done,” Anselmo, 39, says as police circulate through his office with paperwork for the biggest investigation still pending from Curitiba: the corruption case against former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. One of Brazil’s most popular -– and controversial -– political leaders, his case is expected to conclude in the local federal court later this year.

Most of the main Carwash investigations within Curitiba’s jurisdiction are wrapping up, moving on to higher courts and spreading to different states in Brazil and to other countries in Latin America and in Africa — spurred on by the so-called “end of the world’’ plea bargain testimony in the past months from 78 Odebrecht executives involved in Carwash, including Marcelo Odebrecht’s. …

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During the last several decades, the United States has invested billions of dollars in trying to help the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean deliver better lives for their citizens. This has meant helping them increase internal security by combating the illicit growing and trafficking in narcotics and the activities of terrorist groups, as well as helping them to shore up their democratic and free market institutions.

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