19 May 2017
Calls for President Michel Temer to stepdown escalated after a report by Globo, the country’s most powerful media group, of a secret recording in which the president endorsed bribes paid to silence Eduardo Cunha who is now in prison. Cunha was formerly speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, who wielded considerable sway over Brazilian politics. He was one of Temer’s top allies. He staged the ouster of Ms. Rousseff, Temer’s predecessor.
The recording was made by Joesley Batista, the head of the JBS food processing company. He delivered the recording to the prosecutors as part of a plea deal. A Supreme Court justice made the recording public. Some believe that the grainy recording was inconclusive in explicitly showing that Mr. Temer endorsed illicit financial support to silence Mr. Cunha.
Stocks plunged more than 10% at the start of trading, prompting a halt in the dealings. Investors are concerned that Mr Temer’s reform plans could be derailed.
Practically every politician is involved in the Petrobras scandal, Lava Jato (Car Wash) . The latest to fall was former presidential candidate Aecio Neves. He was stripped of his seat in the Senate after he was secretly taped requesting 2m reais in bribes, from the country’s biggest meat-packing firm JBS, in return for the president’s intervention with the fair-trade office. JBS owner brothers Joesley and Wesley Batista, have provided testimony and covertly recorded conversations that incriminate the president, the former finance minister, and other senior figures.