In 2014, Brazilian police stumbled onto the largest corruption scheme ever discovered in the country’s history. They had arrested a minor criminal who revealed that he was laundering money for Petrobras, Brazil’s massive state-owned oil company. With that revelation, Operation Car Wash was born, an investigation that found billions of dollars in bribes were being paid between a coordinated ring of Petrobras executives, construction companies, and politicians.
The investigation even reached the highest levels of Brazil’s government. One president has been convicted, and another has been charged with corruption.
The scandal nearly put Brazil out of business. It helped pitch the country into a deep recession, wiped out nearly 500,000 jobs, and threw Brazil into a political crisis. And the consequences went well beyond Brazil. Politicians in several Latin America countries were found to be involved in the corruption.
Watch the video above to understand how Operation Car Wash uncovered the scandal and how the region is still dealing with the fallout, four years later. Plus, subscribe to our YouTube channel to view all of our latest videos.