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Forget Esteves, It's the Other Brazil Bust That Worries Insiders

  • Lawmaker's arrest stymies government's austerity efforts
  • It also raises specter of additional arrests to come
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When a world-renowned banker and a congressman were busted last week as part of the biggest corruption scandal in Brazil’s history, the international spotlight naturally fell on the young tycoon, Andre Esteves

Yet to long-time Brazil watchers, it was the detention of the legislator -- a ruling party dealmaker named Delcidio Amaral -- that marked a far more worrisome development for a country desperately seeking to contain a deepening financial and political crisis. His arrest not only delayed government efforts to resolve this year’s budget dispute, but it also dispelled a long-held belief that sitting lawmakers are all but untouchable because of a quirk in Brazilian law that affords politicians special treatment in criminal investigations.