News Mash-up: Brazilian Corruption

Category: Top Stories


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. testimony / ˈtɛs təˌmoʊ ni / (n) – a formal spoken or written statement that someone gives after promising to tell the truth, especially in court

    The man was proven guilty because of the witness’s testimony.

  2. annul / əˈnʌl / (v) – to make something, such as a law or an agreement, not valid anymore

    Their marriage has been annulled by the court.

  3. conviction / kənˈvɪk ʃən / (n) – the act of proving and declaring that someone is guilty of a crime

    The large amount of evidence led to the murder suspect’s conviction.

  4. roil / rɔɪl / (v) – to cause serious disturbance or confusion to someone or something

    Violent protests have roiled the country for weeks, even causing some schools to suspend classes.

  5. polarize / ˈpoʊ ləˌraɪz / (v) – to cause people or things to be divided into two groups that are opposite to each other

    The two main presidential candidates have polarized the whole country.


Read the text below.

Rio police arrest outgoing Mayor Crivella

Rio de Janeiro state police arrested outgoing Mayor Marcelo Crivella on Dec. 22 in connection with an alleged kickbacks scheme, yet another show of political turmoil in Brazil’s postcard city.

Seized materials, phone data, financial intelligence reports and collaborators’ testimony “revealed the existence of a well-structured and complex criminal organization led by Crivella and that (had) acted within City Hall since 2017,” said Rio’s public prosecutors’ office.

Crivella was set to leave office on Jan. 1 after losing a reelection bid. (AP)

Brazil judge annuls Lula’s convictions

A Brazilian Supreme Court judge on March 8 annulled the criminal convictions against former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, a move that could allow the popular politician to run in next year’s presidential election.

The surprise decision roiled financial markets and scrambled forecasts for the 2022 race, with many investors betting it would polarize voters between President Jair Bolsonaro, a far-right populist, and Lula, his greatest opponent on the left.

The judge said a Curitiba city court did not have the authority to try Lula on corruption charges. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha. 

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • In your opinion, what proportion of politicians are corrupt (ex. most, only a few)? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think that people with criminal backgrounds should be allowed to run for office? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think that voters are polarized much more now than they were in the past? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, what makes a politician popular (ex. ideas, personality)? Why? Discuss.