Operation Car Wash: Brazil’s endemic corruption laid bare

It was after 10.30pm on March 7th when a car carrying billionaire Joesley Batista pulled up at the Jaburu Palace, one of the modernist masterpieces by architect Oscar Niemeyer that adorn Brazil’s capital, Brasília.

It would be another 70 days before the rest of the country realised it, but the interminable political crisis gripping Latin America’s largest nation – already going on for more than three years – was about to take a dramatic turn for the worse.

Though the Jaburu is officially the vice-president’s residence, Joesley Batista – the son of a country butcher who, with his brothers, created the world’s biggest meat producer – was there to meet President Michel Temer, who had inherited the role on the impeachment of the Workers’ Party’s Dilma Rousseff last year.

Considering many of his opponents argued that he had been engineered into the job via a parliamentary coup, it seemed

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