Claudio Melo Filho is a former executive at Odebrecht, Latin America’s largest construction company. For 12 years, he was the head of the company’s “Institutional Relations Department.” In other words, Melo Filho was the guy who negotiated bribes with corrupt Brazilian politicians. He’s also one of the executives who decided to help prosecutors working for Operation Car Wash.
The world’s biggest plea bargain got the nickname “end of the word plea deal.” As Melo Filho unveils everything he knows, we discover that it was not an overstatement. Melo Filho has given details of how Odebrecht bought politicians for decades, in exchange for hefty contracts and favorable pieces of legislation.
More than 20 high government officials, including President Michel Temer, have been implicated. According to statements, the heads of both congressional houses have benefited from corruption schemes. As did several of the President’s closest allies and members of the previous presidential administration.
He has also given spreadsheets with details of who got what. Instead of names, the spreadsheets contain hilarious nicknames, and we’ve selected the best ones.
Former Speaker Eduardo Cunha, “crab”
The former Speaker of the lower house has allegedly received roughly $2 million. In exchange, he helped to push for bills that would favor Odebrecht. Cunha was impeached – and later arrested – for trying to tamper with investigations against him.
The once powerful Speaker now attempts to negotiate a plea deal of his own.
Former Congressman Inaldo Leitão, “all ugly”
Inaldo Leitão is not what you would call an important man in the Brazilian political landscape. His name is here because he’s got the funniest – and cruelest – nickname. We know he’s no Ryan Gosling, but “all ugly?” That’s gotta hurt.
In time: the former congressman has allegedly received $34,000 from Odebrecht.
Former Minister Jaques Wagner, “polo”
Jacques Wagner was Governor of Bahia (Odebrecht’s home state) from 2007 to 2014. After that, he served as Dilma Rousseff’s Minister of Defense and as her Chief of Staff. According to Claudio Melo Filho, he received a $7,000 Hublot Oscar Niemeyer watch. In 2010 alone, Wagner allegedly received $2.8 million.
Former Senator Delcídio do Amaral, “Ferrari”
One year ago, the flamboyant politician became the first member of the Brazilian Senate to be arrested during democratic times. Police found that he tried to bribe one of the former Petrobras executives who decided to collaborate with the Justice system.
Months later, Amaral signed a plea deal of his own. He implicated members of both the left and the right wing, saying that former President Lula da Silva handpicked corrupt directors for Petrobras and that Senator Aécio Neves received bribes.
According to Odebrecht’s whistleblower, Amaral received $150,000 in dirty money.
Former Senator Gim Argello, “Campari”
The notoriously corrupt former senator is in jail since April. In October, he received a 19-year prison sentence for corruption, money laundering, and obstruction of Justice. Among his many corruption schemes, he had also gotten money from Odebrecht: $450,000 in cash.
Congressman Heráclito Fortes, “Soft mouth”
This nickname is easy to understand. The former senator, now a member of the House of Representatives, allegedly received $60,000 in 2010 alone.
Anderson Dornelles, “Las Vegas”
Dornelles was one of the closest aides to former President Dilma Rousseff. According to Claudio Melo Filho, he benefited from a monthly allowance of $15,000. The stipend lasted for seven months.
Senator Lídice da Mata, “Ugly”
Another cruel epithet. In fact, it seems that Odebrecht bribe guys care a lot about looks. And talk about a lack of chivalry... Lídice da Mata is a Senator for the state of Bahia and an ally of former Governor Jaques Wagner (polo). In 2010, an election year, she allegedly received $60,000.