Behavior Politics

Civil Death

Civil Death

The scoundrel, when invested with leadership, makes, invents, agglutinates and dynamizes masses of scoundrels.
Nelson Rodrigues

This week, Supreme Court Justice Dias Toffoli wrote the epitaph of the Car Wash operation with the following phrase: "Biggest mistake of the Brazilian judiciary".

The Justice defines the Lava Jato operation as "a frame-up that is the result of a power project by certain public agents with the aim of conquering the State". Justice Toffoli says that "...these agents disrespected the due process of law, disregarded higher judicial decisions, subverted evidence, acted with partiality and outside their sphere of competence". The Justice continues: " the final analysis, they purposely did not distinguish innocent people from criminals. They used real psychological torture, a 21st century macaw stick, to obtain 'evidence' against innocentpeople."

More and more people are realizing the extent of the disloyalty of the so-called Curitiba Republic. Judges and prosecutors, umbilically united in a political project of power and obtaining personal wealth, who not only spat on the constitutional rights and guarantees of citizens, but also spat on the political and legal class and destroyed economic business sectors, causing millions of unemployed with loss of family income and huge financial losses to the country.

Unmasked by a subtle twist of fate, it is heart-wrenching to read the fetid electronic messages of these prosecutors, mocking the suffering of hundreds of families. They mocked the death of a prisoner's relatives; they laughed at the clandestine wiretaps they made of the defense lawyers and, with sarcasm worthy of silliness, they agreed on the next steps with the crooked judge to keep the media entertained.

Social judgment is not remedied by legal redress

No matter how much we unmask this legal aberration and cleanse our souls with the possibility of putting these lawbreakers in jail, the damage they have done to society and individuals is irreparable.

People unjustly targeted by the nefarious operation ended up being acquitted in other jurisdictions. Even so, they live and will live with the trauma of suffering for the rest of their lives, as well as the scenes of their testimonies, arrests and family members being exposed in the media and on social networks.

Their children suffered prejudice at school, banks canceled their checking accounts, they were expelled from recreational clubs and others had their visas to enter other countries canceled. Some suffered persecution in other countries. They were abandoned by friends or supposed friends, and even family members turned their backs on them. To paraphrase the philosopher Karl Marx, you are no longer a social being.

Even if cleared of criminal charges, a Lava Jato defendant will not be able to return to civilian life naturally. In the reality of today's life, surrounded by controls and rules of conduct that prioritize appearance over truth, he will find it difficult to do simple things, such as selling or renting a property. Financial institutions will not grant you credit, nor will the companies in which you may participate. The compliance of private companies will not accept hiring people with this level of exposure, meaning that this individual, even if cleared, has had his civil death decreed. He has become a social nothing, a mere wandering soul in the private world.

The Brazilian Federal Constitution establishes the presumption of innocence. In other words, no one will be deprived of their liberty or rights until a final decision establishes their conviction. In practice, and with the advent of the internet, civil condemnation takes place when the media and social networks come into play. Being acquitted in the future doesn't matter, because what counts is the moment, the now. The episode of the base school in São Paulo and the suicide of the dean of the college in Santa Catarina illustrate this concept well.

Ruy Barbosa said that "Justice delayed is not justice, but qualified and manifest injustice". Therefore, the notion of time is crucial to the definition of justice. Justice Toffoli's decision washes the souls of the innocent, but it comes too late for them to be reborn from civil death.

About Author

Maurício Ferro

What do soccer, wine, law, politics, and economics have in common? Much more than you can imagine. And contrary to what the popular saying says, they can and should be debated and analyzed, yes. Welcome to Maurício Ferro's site, a channel to create and exchange thoughts and opinions. Maurício Ferro is a lawyer, graduated from PUC university in Rio de Janeiro, with a Master's degree and specializations from universities such as the London School and the University of London. He studied OPM at Harvard Business School. Author of published works in the commercial and capital markets areas, and acting in the Board of Directors of large companies, he based his legal and executive career with a focus on Business Law. But his passion goes beyond the corporate world. A passionate Flamenguista, Mauricio knows the ins and outs of the professional world of soccer and other sports. He is a partner in innovative companies such as 2Blive, a global startup focused on technological solutions to fill the education gap, especially in areas of great need such as Africa. He also invests in the Flow Kana company, based in California, and focused on the scientific production of cannabis for various purposes, such as medicinal, clothing production, or recreational use. To all these ingredients, add a deep knowledge of wine and the delicious ways of winemaking. That is the recipe for what you will find here.


  • Dear MF,
    Congratulations on bringing to light the reality of what it means to violate the due process of law!
    Nowadays, it's even worse, with an instant and permanent verdict!

  • "......ou can't fool all the people, all the time."
    That statement is proving itself once again. But the damage to companies, jobs, people and families will never be cured, as you well said, and as you well know, friend Mauricio. At the end of the day, the law will prevail and endure, as good wines do. And the rotten corks will be conveniently discarded. Brotherly hugs.

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