The end of the jet wash?

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Lava Jato enabled both the 2016 Coup operation and the 2018 seizure of power by Bolsonarism

Attorney General Augusto Aras announced on February 3, the end of the task force along with Operation Lava Jato, whose birth officially took place in 2014. Lava Jato acted as a structure strategically designed by the populist movement of the Brazilian right, started with the process called Mensalão, in 2005, with a view to the seizure of power by the right-wing political bloc.

According to the professor of Constitutional Law, Pedro Serrano, in a lapidary lecture given on TVT, also last night, the Mensalão process was the laboratory for the development of the technique of authoritarian measures of exception in the criminal process – reduction of the probative standard, hypernomy, punitive culture, figurative role of defense, etc. – formerly imposed on young black people from the periphery, through anti-drug legislation. From Mensalão, this technique of exceptional measures was tested in political judgments – clearly in the judgment of José Genoíno, for example – demarcating the nefarious action of the right-wing populist movement in the search for the replacement of the Democratic Rule of Law by a security State, guarantor well-being of the rich, through order and security, standardizing the narrative of national life by criminalizing political and social diversity, implicit and intrinsic to any democratic regime.

Among the necessary conditions to constitute a security state, the rabble (Arendtian concept developed in the book “As Origens do Totalitarismo”) elects a Leader, considered as a superior being (myth), who composes with an authoritarian group (judges, prosecutors, military, etc.), and see themselves as moral beings above the rest of the population, to impose order and security, developing an ideology and a homogenizing system of society to consider as an enemy anyone who stands in opposition to such homogenization.

For example, in Nazi Germany, those who appeared contrary to the homogeneity of the German people were the Jewish people, with their culturally diverse form, as well as the social democrats and democratic socialists, who proposed party plurality as opposed to the conception of the single Nazi party. Both were considered by Nazism as enemies. That is, they were treated as subhuman, persecuted, tortured, exterminated in concentration camps deliberately built for that purpose.

In the Brazil of the 2016 coup, the homogenizing populist movement of the Brazilian right aimed to criminalize all leftist parties. The names carefully chosen for this criminalization were those of former presidents Lula and Dilma, together with the largest leftist party in Latin America, the Workers' Party. Through this ideology, all PT members started to be considered “enemies”.

Lava Jato played a very relevant role in this process because it introduced the climate, which was already created in society, through the Mensalão and the street demonstrations of 2013 (techniques of the hybrid wars of the 2016st century), into politics and justice. Some tasks she fulfilled exemplary. For example, by raising the level of affective commotion in society, creating a kind of national discontent against the targets – Dilma and Lula – defined by its operators. In practice, the XNUMX Coup was much more judicial than parliamentary. Parliament would not have been able to formally consolidate the impeachment coup, without a proven crime of responsibility, if the climate of social commotion had not been built by the media and the judiciary.

Then, keeping its script, Lava Jato produces an exception process, within the democratic appearance, with two well-defined accusers – Moro (Russian code name), acting as accusing “judge” (just think of the cover of the magazine This is, from May 2017, where Moro appears as a boxer against former president Lula), and Dallagnol (aka Deltinha) leading the Curitiba group – in the persecutory process of condemnation of former president Lula. It has always been clear that former President Lula was treated as a being “below human” (homo sacer), without minimal political and legal protection of rights. The “evidence standard” was reduced with total disregard of his defense arguments. In other words, an appearance of a criminal process was set up, a mere make-up, a minimally legal guise, but with the material content of a tyrannical political action to combat and condemn the person of President Lula.

As the jurist Lênio Streck recently noted on his Twitter account, according to the revelations of the recordings released by the Federal Supreme Court on 01/02, “TRF, Moro, Lava Jato and Globo had the dream of Lula not being a presidential candidate in 2018. The other dream of this group was to have a picture of him arrested, so they could have multiple orgasms”. (

Lula's arrest immensely strengthened the far-right movement, flowing with the "anointing" of a politician until then marginal in the political scene, elected as president of the Republic. Therefore, those who create Bolsonaro and Bolsonarism as a political movement are Russo and Deltinha, with all the legal and media articulation of Lava Jato. No wonder that immediately after his election, Russo abandons his career as a magistrate to become Bolsonaro's super-minister of Justice.

Therefore, Lava Jato enabled both the operation of the 2016 Coup and the seizure of power in 2018, through the makeup of democratic normality, of the new Political Bloc with its fractions: financial market, agribusiness, global media, Christian churches with their religious movements and philanthropic, military, militia, part of the justice system. On the one hand, Bolsonarism with its exceptional criminal procedure agents; on the other hand, the Bolsonarism of necropolitics.

The concept of necropolitics involves understanding how institutions of power promote policies of death to countless sectors of the population, restricting their access to minimum survival conditions, such as, for example, the issue of priority in combating Covid-19, or in in relation to delaying a wide vaccination campaign, and even in the relativization of the value of the life of people over 60 years old, the public most vulnerable to the lethality of the coronavirus. Necropolitics is a new garment of XNUMXst century fascism.

Therefore, this is the legacy of Lava Jato. The seriousness of the issue resides in the fact that even though Lava Jato ended, Bolsonarism continues to spread its claws through the spaces of Power and Society.

*Alexandre Aragão de Albuquerque Master in Public Policy and Society from the State University of Ceará (UECE).


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