Tapes of Brazilian President Michel Temer discussing bribing a member of his party to keep quiet have been released.
In the past year, the first female president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff was impeached for corruption, and the president before her is also on trial for the same crime. Now, the current president, Michel Temer, has also been implicated in the never-ending scandal.
The recordings have been released by two brothers who run the country’s biggest meat-packing firm, JBS, as part of a plea bargain. On the tapes, Mr Temer can be heard talking to Joesley Batista (one of the brothers) about continuing to pay off Eduardo Cunha, the former Speaker of the House, to keep him quiet.
Eduardo Cunha is currently in prison for corruption after he was arrested as part of the Operation Carwash investigation. Cunha began the impeachment process against previous President Dilma Rousseff that allowed Mr Temer to take over the presidency.
The police also have evidence that Mr Temer’s aide negotiated bribes worth R$ 500,000 (around £117,000) per week in exchange for helping JBS with a problem with the fair trade office.
The tapes also incriminate other important politicians, including former presidential candidate and current senator, Aécio Neves, and the former finance minister, Guido Mantega.
None of the audio has been released, but there have been protests and calls for Temer’s impeachment from the minute the news was announced on Globo (the main television and news network in the country). The Brazilian people have been pushed to the limit with continuing revelations of the extent of the corruption, and Temer’s already unpopular government is being pushed to the brink.
How long can the government last when eight ministers have been implicated through Operation Carwash, three have been forced to resign, and now there are recordings of the president himself talking about bribing a member of his party? The presidential palace may continue to deny that the president obstructed justice, yet he forced the last president out on the very same grounds.