The Brazilian Federal Police have just released Guido Mantega, former minister of finance during Lula’s and Dilma Rousseff’s government, in a new episode of the Car-Wash operation. He was temporally arrested this morning in São Paulo for questioning. Mantega was taken by police following a denounce made by businessman Eike Batista saying that a former Dilma’s minister had asked him for R$ 5 million (about U$ 2.5 million at the time), in donation for the Workers party in 2012.
Allegedly, this money would be sent to marketers in charge of the Workers party political campaign who had created false contracts with OAS, a ship building company owned by Batista. OAS also had contracts with Petrobras, Brazil’s giant oil company, presided by Mantega at the time.
However, Workers party members say that the arrest was politically related. Their main argument is the fact that politicians from other parties, such as PSDB and PMDB (which the current president belongs to), are connected to far worse corruption scandals and are treated with favouritism by the Federal Police.
Many supporters of the party also criticized the way the arrest was carried out. The police invaded a hospital where the former minister was keeping company to his wife who was about to undergo a cancer surgery.
Mantega was the longest-serving finance minister in Brazil, keeping this position from 2006 to 2014 under former presidents Lula and Dilma Rousseff.