Brazil corruption investigators vow to keep digging

miércoles 20 de abril de 2016 19:00 GYT

By Brad Brooks

CURITIBA, Brazil, April 20 (Reuters) - In a Brazil deeply divided by the battle to oust President Dilma Rousseff, one sentiment unites ordinary people on both sides of the impeachment fight - outrage against corruption.

Some worry a historic investigation uncovering huge graft scandals at state oil firm Petrobras could be quietly quashed if, as expected, the Senate votes to put Rousseff on trial next month for breaking budget laws.

Rousseff will be suspended by mid-May if the trial goes ahead and the party set to take over, the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), is as heavily implicated as her ruling Workers Party (PT) in the Petrobras kick-back schemes.

But those leading the investigation insist they will not allow it to be hobbled or run out of steam.

"Federal prosecutors and our own task force will fight ferociously for this investigation to continue to the end," Carlos Lima, a lead prosecutor for the Petrobras case, told Reuters this week in his modest, shared office in Curitiba.

"We will not remain silent in the face of any attempts to strip us of this investigation."

As part of its efforts, the anti-corruption task force is stepping up its calls for the public to defend the investigation, code named 'Operation Car Wash'.

They are also demanding constitutional changes to hand the federal police more independence.   Continuación...