Country Risk

Brazil's new prosecutor general highly likely to maintain Lava Jato investigation's leads, posing threat to government continuity

26 September 2017

Key Points

  • Appointed by President Michel Temer, who has been charged with corruption by her predecessor at the Supreme Court, and ratified with the votes of many senators also allegedly involved in corruption, Prosecutor General Raquel Dodge will face strong pressure to dilute the Lava Jato corruption investigation.
  • She is expected to be more rigorous than Janot in dealing with thorny issues like plea bargains and building up evidence before bringing charges against corrupt politicians.
  • Dodge has a proven track record of independence and efficiency and it is very unlikely that she will act to curb the Lava Jato investigation.


On 18 September, Raquel Dodge was sworn as Brazil's new prosecutor general, replacing Rodrigo Janot, who had so far presided over the Lava Jato corruption investigation launched in 2014.

New prosecutor general Raquel Dodge (right) with President Michel Temer (centre) and Supreme Court President Cármen Lúcia. (Evaristo SA/AFP/Getty Images)New prosecutor general Raquel Dodge (right) with President Michel Temer (centre) and Supreme Court President Cármen Lúcia. (Evaristo SA/AFP/Getty Images)

Dodge is the first woman to head the Federal Prosecution Office (Ministério Público Federal: MPF).

Dodge's appointment comes at critical moment when Congress is about to consider a second round of corruption charges against President Michel Temer, as part of the Lava Jato corruption investigation. On 21 September, the Supreme Court approved by 10 votes to one, at the request of outgoing prosecutor general Janot, to ask the Lower House to vote on whether Temer should be tried for obstruction of Justice and criminal association, including demanding bribes from private companies contracting with the state.

Lava Jato has put the judiciary and Brazil's political establishment at loggerheads. The probe has so far resulted in 137 investigations by the Supreme Court, including incumbent president Temer, four ex-presidents, six of Temer's ministers, 30 senators and 63 deputies, from nearly all political parties with representation in Congress. Already, a former head of the Lower House as well as former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva have been convicted.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options

(318 of 1124 words)