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Faculty Colloquium Series: Dr. Leo Cardoso (PVFA) 4/18/23

"Presidential Remarks, Criminal Probes, and Political Crises in Contemporary Brazil"
We welcome your attendance in GLAS 311 or online via Zoom
Meeting ID: 966 5862 6914
Passcode: Cardoso

“Presidential Remarks, Criminal Probes, and Political Crises in Contemporary Brazil

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 | 4-5pm

We welcome your attendance in GLAS 311
Or online via Zoom Zoom Meeting information:
Meeting ID: 966 5862 6914
Password: Cardoso

Zoom Link

Dr. Leonardo Cardoso, Associate Professor | Section Chair of Visual, Material, and Performance Cultures


In this exploratory article, Cardoso considers the complex entanglements between the law and remarks made by Brazil’s current and former presidents in the last ten years: Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva (2003-2010), Dilma Rousseff (2011-2016), Michel Temer (2016-2018), and Jair Bolsonaro (2019-2022). The remarks related to the first three politicians (Lula, Rousseff, and Temer) involve electronic eavesdropping as part of the (in)famous anti-corruption investigation known as Operação Lava Jato (Car Wash Operation). In its first three years (2014-17), the criminal probe amassed impressive results: 730 search warrants, 300 police inquiries, 330 wiretap authorizations, 57 criminal charges against 260 people, 125 convictions of 90 individuals, and BR$10 billion recuperated via plea deals. The country had never seen so many public officials, CEOs from large companies, and black-market dealers investigated, charged, convicted, and imprisoned. Unquestionably, the Car Wash Operation created a unique opportunity for Jair Bolsonaro, a lawmaker with a political career based more on public statements than legislative action, to win the 2018 presidential election. However, if Bolsonaro’s controversial remarks helped him gain traction as a candidate, they would also weaken his approval as president – ultimately contributing to his defeat in the 2022 election. Cardoso concludes the article by considering the chain of disastrous and absurd statements made by Bolsonaro in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, which hit Brazil particularly hard (the country ranks second in the total number of deaths, behind the US only).

The Faculty Colloquium offers faculty an opportunity to discuss a work-in-progress with faculty and graduate students from different disciplines. By long-standing practice, colloquium presenters provide a draft of their current research, which is made available to members of the Glasscock Center listserv. Each colloquium begins with the presenter’s short (10-15 minute) exposition of the project, after which the floor is open for comments and queries. The format is by design informal, conversational, and interdisciplinary.

The paper is available to members of the Center’s listserv, or by contacting the Glasscock Center by phone at (979) 845-8328 or by e-mail at

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