The country’s comptroller general released a report on Thursday in which he exposed the jaw-dropping cost of the “mermelada” that is used to sweeten up congress.
Over the past 14 years, the presidents gave congressmen $19.1 billion in “indicative quotas” for local projects, according to Comptroller General Edgardo Maya.
Much of this money ended up in the pockets of local “clans” dedicated to politics and their allies in the private sector.
Maya said he would investigate whether the funds were effectively spent on public investment.
Maya said he would focus specifically on public projects in infrastructure, a sector that has long been crippled by corruption.
The comptroller general did not rule out investigating congressmen if they prove to be linked to the embezzlement or irregular spending of public funds.
Infrastructure companies like Brazil’s Odebrecht have obtained huge investments after paying off lawmakers and government officials. Many of these projects generated extra costs. Some were never even executed.
Maya said he wanted to repeal the parts of the so-called Infrastructure Law that passed in January and contains clauses that would promote corruption through slush funds.