Bloomberg: Brazil’s Anti-Corruption Drive Hits Temer and Agriculture Minister

Michel Temer Photographer: Patrícia Monteiro/Bloomberg

By Walter Brandimarte | September 14, 2017

Brazil’s agriculture minister became the latest target of an anti-corruption drive that has picked up steam this week as a new round of charges against President Michel Temer loom.

In the latest sting operation, federal police raided the Brasilia apartment of Blairo Maggi on Thursday morning, while Chief Prosecutor Rodrigo Janot finished a second set of charges against the president that will likely be filed by the end of the day, local media reported.

Blairo Maggi
Photographer: Patricia Monteiro/Bloomberg

Police haven’t confirmed the search in Maggi’s apartment. In an emailed statement, the minister denied wrongdoing and said he didn’t act to obstruct justice.

In the last 24 hours, police carried out high profile arrests as part of what local press dubbed “Super Wednesday.” Both the chief executive officer of the world’s largest meat company and a former Rio de Janeiro governor were detained, and ex-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva testified for the second time on allegations of corruption.

Janot has been widely expected to file new charges against the president before he finishes his term on Sept. 17. The president will likely be accused of participating in organized crime and obstruction of justice, newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported without saying how it obtained the information. Temer has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

The president needs the support of just over one third of the lower house of Congress to block the case from going to trial at the Supreme Court, a move that would force him to stand down from the presidency. Barring further unexpected developments, he is likely to survive the vote, according to political consultancy Eurasia, raising hopes for a pension reform push that has fueled market gains.

The benchmark stock index closed at another record on Wednesday and is up 12 percent in dollar terms over the past month.

— With assistance by Bruce Douglas