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Dilma admits Petrobras funds were illegally diverted to finance political parties

Monday, October 20th 2014 - 08:17 UTC
Full article 25 comments
”If there was diversion, we want (the money) back,” Rousseff said at a press conference at Alvorada Palace, where she was resting ”If there was diversion, we want (the money) back,” Rousseff said at a press conference at Alvorada Palace, where she was resting
The whistleblowers, who are telling the judiciary all they know about the illegal activities, include the former supply director of Petrobras, Paulo Roberto Costa The whistleblowers, who are telling the judiciary all they know about the illegal activities, include the former supply director of Petrobras, Paulo Roberto Costa

Brazilian President and candidate for reelection Dilma Rousseff admitted that funds were illegally diverted at the state-run oil firm Petrobras, allegedly to benefit political parties allied with the government, and she promised to seek reimbursement of that money.

”If there was diversion, we want (the money) back,“ Rousseff said at a press conference at Alvorada Palace, the presidential residence, in Brasilia, where she was resting after cancelling political campaign events.

Rousseff, who on Oct. 26 will face off in a presidential runoff with opposition candidate Aecio Neves, said that she will take ”all measures to return everything,“ although she added that without a judicial ruling ”nobody knows today what must be reimbursed.“

A corruption scandal at Petrobras has been marring the electoral campaign in Brazil and has been one of the most-discussed issues in the presidential campaign debates so far.

According to the investigation into the matter, 3% of the budget for Petrobras contracts was diverted to finance the election campaigns of political parties allied with the government, including Rousseff's Workers Party, or PT.

The whistleblowers, who are telling the judiciary all they know about the illegal activities in exchange for reductions in their own sentences, include the former supply director of Petrobras, Paulo Roberto Costa, and businessman Alberto Youssef, the owner of an exchange house that allegedly handled the funds.

Despite the fact that the opposition has been using the scandal to attack Rousseff, Costa recently said that late Sen. Sergio Guerra, who was the president of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, or PSDB, of Neves, received ”commissions” as part of the diversion of funds.

Guerra allegedly received money -said Costa- in exchange for the opposition halting its efforts to create a parliamentary investigative commission to analyze the complaints against Petrobras.

On Friday, Petrobras announced that it had created internal commissions to verify whether or not deeds connected with the scandal were committed that harm the firm, saying that it, too, would seek to have any diverted funds reimbursed.

In the Oct. 5 electoral first round, Rousseff garnered 41.5% of the votes to Neves' 33.5%, but recent voter opinion surveys show the pair are technically neck and neck for the runoff.
 

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • ilsen

    I heard that millions of dollars were 'donated' by Petrobras to support Evo Morales electioneering in Bolivia.
    As a state-owned company can I just ask if everyone in Brazil was happy and consenting to this 'donation'? It is their money after all.
    Sounds very similar to Venezuela where the ruling party is happy to nationalise the country's assets, then plunder them to finance their own political projects.
    It's practically a disease.

    Oct 20th, 2014 - 08:44 am 0
  • ChrisR

    This robbing the taxpayers to pay for whatever the pols want for themselves does seem to be endemic throughout SA.

    It’s the nature of the LatAm political class by the look of it.

    Oct 20th, 2014 - 12:17 pm 0
  • GeoffWard2

    Everybody knew about these 'diversions',
    things we know as 'corruption, and 'stealing'.

    I remember ranting about it on this site and others. But Lula and Dilma were teflon targets - like Blair; people who ride right through accusations of wrong-doing.

    It was not only stealing, it was the setting up of a whole structure of 'smoke and mirrors' in Petrobras's operations.
    Dilma was in charge and IS TOTALLY CULPABLE.

    Oct 20th, 2014 - 12:22 pm 0
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