More than 1 in 10 Politicians in Brazil Funded by Companies 'Linked to Slavery'

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More than one in 10 of Brazil’s top ranking politicians — including President Michel Temer — has received a campaign donation from a company linked to modern slavery according to the NGO Repórter Brasil.

Party leaders, state secretaries, and five of  former president Dilma Rousseff’s governors received R$3.5m (£760,000) during the last election cycle. Meanwhile, Temer’s own election committee received R$700,000 (£150,000) from OAS, a Brazilian construction company found guilty of keeping 111 workers in slave-like conditions during the expansion of the São Paulo airport.

The Guardian reports that politicians receiving these donations are part of the rural caucus strongly opposed to anti-slavery policies:

Twenty-one of the 51 MPs who received donations from companies identified by the authorities as using slave labour are part of the extremely influential rural caucus in congress.

This lobby has continually attempted to limit efforts to combat slavery in Brazil and, late last year, supported Temer’s attempt to restrict the legal definition of modern-day slavery.

According to Brazilian law, four conditions are used to categorise “slave-like labour”: being forced to work; being obliged to work to pay off debts; degrading conditions that put workers’ health or dignity at risk; and an excessive workload that threatens workers’ health.

Repórter Brasil says it conducted its investigation by cross-checking campaign donations from the electoral court against companies that have been named on a centralized list of employers found guilty of using slave labor between 2003 and 2017.

The investigation is part of Repórter Brasil’s “Ruralometer”, a tool developed to monitor the impact of Brazilian politicians’ actions — such as campaign finance — on the environment, indigenous people, and rural workers.

“These findings are very useful for demystifying what is fuelling current attempts to backpedal on workers’ rights and anti-slavery legislation,” said Xavier Plassat, head of the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT). “The rural and construction lobbies are presenting a very strong offensive.”

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Sajjad SulmanTonyarturoSol MoralesJane Rathbun Recent comment authors
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Sajjad Sulman
Sajjad Sulman

will not buy from from stores having these items.


I have signed all pleas for end of slavery but what was brought in this article is a left propaganda. I can tell you that there are politicians that keep under employed labors in their farm, but the Brazilian labor laws do not allow companies like OAS keep under employed labors in their job sites. So please check your sources before declaring such a nonsense. On the other hand it is correct that OAS as a many other construction companies sponsored in a not very clean way a lot of campaigns


mee not buy never

Sol Morales
Sol Morales

Many companies´owners become cruel people, isn´t anybody in their families to make them conscious about this?

Jane Rathbun
Jane Rathbun

Sadly, Brazil is a corrupt third world country.


Corruption you will find al over the world. That makes those countries where you can find corruption a corrupt country. Brazil is trying hard to get rid of our corrupt politicians and is having success.