Produced by Ben Marino. Filmed and edited by Gregory Bobillot.
Sergio Moro is the disruptor of the Brazilian judicial system. He's the man who has ended five centuries of impunity in Brazil, Latin America's largest country. Four years ago when he started Operation Car Wash, the investigation into Petrobras, he suddenly started arresting very important people, something that never happened in Brazil before, culminating last month in former president Lula, Brazil's most popular politician. For Brazilians, Sergio Moro is someone who is finally starting to deal with corruption.
Sergio Moro, how do you change 500 years of impunity in a country like Brazil?
That's a very good question. I would answer you have to start somewhere, and it's important to break this past of impunity. And having all these cases being tried and powerful criminals being held accountable, and some of them being convicted and serving prison terms, it's a good start.
After you finish with Lava Jato, what's the guarantee that corruption won't come back, other judges won't do the same thing?
It's not just my work. You change - you are changing the environment. You're changing the system, the law, and the practise. I think this will have impact even if I'll not be there any more as a judge.
And speaking of that, why is it necessary for judges such as yourself, prosecutors, to appear in public and talk about the Lava Jato case? Do you see that as an important part of the case?
I understood that it was important to have the public opinion by our side. The public opinion could work as a medicine against attempts to obstruct the work of justice.
And you've faced criticism from the left, for instance, for jailing President Lula and, according to them, not jailing the other side of the former opposition. How do you respond to those sorts of criticisms?
After a deal with Odebrecht, the company revealed that it paid bribes for politicians of all political spectrum, even for a politician of their position. And these cases are in other courts in Brazil. Maybe I could have some of this case also, but sometimes it just takes time.
Do you ever face any personal threats?
So far, so good. But what I saw more was attempts of defamation.