Preprint / Version 2

Court’s neutrality or bias: Political Affiliation Among the Defendants of the Car Wash Operation




parties, Brazil, corruption


The aim of this work is to identify the distribution of political-partisan links among the defendants of the so-called Car Wash Operation, as well as possible bias against some defendants among different first instance jurisdictions (located in Curitiba, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro).

Methodologically, we have gathered all Car Wash Operation defendants’ names and compared this list with that of the Brazilian Electoral Court’s political-party affiliation. There were three main findings: The proportion of people with party affiliation is higher among Operation Lava Jato defendants than in the general population. The distribution of party affiliation among the Car Wash Operation followed the size of the parties, considering its affiliates. In other words, the larger the party, the greater the number of accusations and defendants with that party affiliation. This same distribution exists both for the common justice defendants and for the people with privileged jurisdiction at the Federal Supreme Court (although the people with privileged jurisdiction were not considered defendants, but only investigated people). Finally, the paper notes that, considering the Workers' Party, most complaints (83%) were offered and accepted in the Judicial Subsection of Curitiba.

The work contributes to the literature on two fronts. First, for suggestion that the Brazilian systems of corruption repression was neutral, except for the defendants affiliated with the PT in Curitiba. Second, for bringing data that authorizes a mensurable association between corruption and political party affiliation.


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Author Biography

Ildeberto Rodello, Universidade de São Paulo

Professor Doutor de Ciência de Dados da Universidade de São Paulo, Faculdade de Economia, Administração e Contabilidade de Ribeirão Preto.


09/06/2022 — Updated on 10/27/2022


How to Cite

Bertran, M. P., Vilaça, L., Rodello, I., Morilas, L., & Ribeiro, E. M. S. (2022). Court’s neutrality or bias: Political Affiliation Among the Defendants of the Car Wash Operation . In SciELO Preprints. (Original work published 2022)


Applied Social Sciences