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‘Brazil became an exporter of corruption’ says foreign minister Ernesto Araújo

By Nicholas Norbrook
Posted on Tuesday, 30 March 2021 20:01

Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo
Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo in Washington, Friday, 13 September 13, 2019. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Brazil’s foreign minister wants to draw a line under the Odebrecht scandal and organised crime, building a new relationship with African countries through private partnerships and security cooperation.

The relationship between Brazil and Africa flourished under former president Luiz Inácio ‘Lula’ da Silva (2003-2011), who talked up the ‘political, moral and historical obligation’ that the world has towards the continent. “Brazilian society was built on the work, the sweat and the blood of Africans,” said Lula, as he spun through the continent, often with a large bevy of businessmen in tow.

A decade or so later and the relationship has cooled. The epic nature of the Odebrecht construction company scandal can not only be felt across Africa – particularly in Angola and Mozambique – but also in Latin America. Peru’s President Alan García committed suicide in April 2019 amid implication in the widening scandal.

Re-engage with Africa