Whistleblowers, the media and democracy in Latin America

Rogério Christofoletti

Latin America is a fascinating region: while it brings together great natural and cultural wealth, it suffers from economic inequality, underdevelopment, and social injustice. The region’s countries squander biodiversity and ancestry but share in problems of institutional fragility, political instability and weak democratic systems. From Northern Mexico to Tierra del Fuego in Chile, more than 650 million people speak Spanish, Portuguese, English, French. Dutch, and hundreds of other indigenous languages.1 There are 21 countries which formed the cradle of civilisations such as the Inca, Maya, and Aztecs, and later received migratory waves from around the world. Latin America accounts for 8.3% of global GDP,2 and has been showing an increasingly attractive consumer market for durable goods and technology products, given the increasing accession to connectivity. The region has 10.5% of the world’s internet users and usage rate of 67%, which shows room for growth in this sector. ’ These numbers also signal the potential of educational development. The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) projects a growth of 2.2% for the region in 2018. It is almost twice the rate of last year.4

The year 2018 also represents an important year for politics in Latin America because at least seven countries held legislative and presidential elections. In April, Costa Rica held a fierce presidential second round vote and an evangelistic movement candidate almost won.5 Governor Carlos Alvarado was ultimately elected, but the strong presence of religious candidates showed that the familiar face of the colonial heritage that exists in the churches still provides an important basis for Latin American societies. In April. Paraguay elected Mario Abdo Benítez as president of the republic for a five-year term with no right to re-election. There was also a renewal in parliaments and state governments. In the same month, Cuba put an end to the Castro brothers’ dynasty and for the first time since the 1959 revolution, a civilian ruler took office. Fidel’s brother, Raúl, transferred the position to Vice President Miguel Diáz-Canel in an indirect election.6 It is a moderate change, but already eagerly awaited by generations of Cubans. In May, it was the turn of Colombia and Venezuela, where the outcome remains controversial and contested. In Mexico, Andrés Manuel López-Obrador won in July 2018, promising profound changes. The country suffers from urban violence and bloodthirsty drug trafficking gangs.

In October 2018, the world turned its attention to Brazil. The largest country in Latin America held the fourth largest election in history, mobilising more than 147 million voters. It was a dirty campaign, with many political clashes and even a knife attack against candidate Jair Bolsonaro. The far-right representative eventually won the election, becoming an electoral phenomenon that helped elect deputies, senators, and governors. The “Bolsonaro wave” resurrected a strong conservatism in Brazilian society and fuelled the fear that the country might return to a closed, undemocratic, military-controlled regime. Bolsonaro is a retired Army captain and nostalgic for the military dictatorship that ran the country between 1964 and 1985. More than that: on several occasions, he praised a well-known former torturer and advocated for violent measures such as the shooting of politicians.

Since the 2014 election. Brazil has been the scene of a political polarisation never seen before: the vertiginous fall of trust in the institutions, the emergence of great cases of corruption, the media involvement of judicial power and the union of retrograde forces afflicting Brazilian social structures. Many political analysts believe that the October elections were the most important since 1989, when Brazil was once again able to elect presidents by popular vote. The results of the 2018 elections put Brazilian democracy to the test because they occur in an ultra-polarised scenario and widespread distrust of institutions. By his statements and actions, throughout his political career. Jair Bolsonaro shows no commitment to democracy or to the institutionality of elected office.

In Brazil, we have already elected a factory worker and a woman to the presidency. For years, these achievements were grounds for pride and celebration. Despite this, Lula was arrested, and Dilma Rousseff was impeached. Lula’s conviction, although it followed procedural rules, has been questioned by a significant part of the population, since the evidence presented was thin and there are clear signs of the politicisation of the judicial system. Lula is not a common prisoner; he is also a political prisoner. Dilma Rousseffs impeachment process was also very questionable because, for many, her conduct did not represent a crime that would justify the loss of her mandate. An indication of this is that her opponents removed her from her elected position but did not deprive her of political rights. This contradiction would point to a lack of conviction of Dilma’s actual culpability. Ultimately, the presumption of innocence - a foundation of the Brazilian Constitution and democracies in general - was seriously harmed in Brazil. Half of the Brazilian population believes there was a coup. The other half insists on the idea that institutions are functioning normally, and the claim of the coup was a complaint of who lost the power. Personally, 1 would say it was a coup!

The legal case against Dilma was marked by class-based and chauvinistic characteristics still very present in Brazilian political culture. The political forces that lost the 2014 election were not pleased with the result of the pollsand undermined Dilma Rousseff’s fragile base of governability. There was an alliance of historical conservative sectors, predatory economic elites, media, and even parts of the judiciary.7 Vice President Michel Temer conspired to have Dilma overthrown and, as soon as he took office, he put into practice a government programme that was not chosen by the majority of voters. In the last two years, during which time he was in the presidency, Temer never had more than 7% of popular approval for his government.8 An ultra-conservative parliament, plunged into allegations of crime and corruption lent support to the current government. The congressmen elected in 2018 are also mostly conservative and. in the first year of the legislature, supported Jair Bolso-naro’s political programme.

Tom Jobim. one of Brazil’s great songwriters, used to say that this is not a country for beginners. It is true: Brazil challenges logic and common sense. Two months after he was arrested, Lula was still ahead in the polls, having captured an impressive 30% of voters, twice that of the second.9 By contrast, Michel Temer’s candidate had 1%, and, even when combined, the other candidates from the same political faction did not even come close to Lula. Lula’s arrest prevented him from competing in the 2018 elections, which facilitated Bolsonaro’s victory. Sergio Moro, the judge who condemned Lula, became Bolsonaro’s Minister of Justice in January 2019.

The tradition of combining a military uniform with the presidential sash is not a Brazilian privilege, but has been a phenomenon across Latin America. Democracy oscillates like a pendulum in the region, sometimes violated with the support and interference of more powerful countries. Since 1847, all Latin American countries have experienced some period of democratic disruption due to military coups.10 Between 1976 and 1979, the region had thirteen authoritarian regimes simultaneously.11 Two-thirds of the countries were non-democratic.

Since the 1990s this trend has cooled off and we have witnessed numerous re-democratisation movements. In recent years, however, democracy in Latin America has been put to the test, and new forms of power struggles, including within the institutional order, have arisen. Since 1985, eight presidents have been removed from office by impeachment, resignation or coup.12 By democratically electing a president with a military past, Brazil is once again flirting with its darkest past. Bolsonaro’s first year of government was marked by increased fires in the Amazon, more deaths of indigenous and union leaders, and violent public security policies.


Democracy oscillates like a pendulum in Latin America because the region has not been able to completely break with its colonial past. Across the region, support for democracy fell by 14.4% between 2004 and 201613 and another study shows that about one in four citizens of the United States believe that a military coup in these countries would be justifiable in response to high crimes or corruption.14 These people feel that the conditions in their own country, the United States, are different from those in Latin America. That is, they consider it reasonable to have military interventions elsewhere.

In Latin America, several harmful trends continue to plague political and social practices, while at the same time some democratic virtues such as transparency and accountability are still very incipient. With the exception of Bolivia, Costa Rica, Venezuela, and Cuba, most countries in Latin America have laws to guarantee access to official information, but this still does not prevent citizens from finding that secrecy remains the rule in local cultures.15 The media could theoretically take on the role of watchdogs by monitoring those in power and serving as a platform for democracy.16 But the structure and functioning of the media sector in Latin American countries precludes this. Unlike in Europe, public media systems in Latin America are fragile, wield little influence, and are very dependent on the goodwill of the elected government. Oligopoly is frequent in local communication markets, and has only increased in the first fifteen years of this century.17 In the digital age, media ownership occupies a central place in the twenty-first century power agenda, but the landscape of Latin America appears to be resistant to possible structural changes.18 The media, even when controlled by private groups, is linked to governments, which contributes to their maintenance of power, and helps to guarantee the status quo and government favour at the same time.

The most complete and current study on democracies and media accountability in Latin America was made by German researcher Mariella Bastian.19 The author examines Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay, highlighting the conditions of maturation and consolidation of democratic regimes in those countries, and the local instruments and cultures used by the public and institutions to hold the media to account. There are imbalances in the progress of democracies between countries, but Bastian detects that those with a more consolidated democratic system do not necessarily generate greater media commitment, transparency, or accountability.

Two emerging social players could, however, help to change the democratic landscape in Latin America: whistleblowers and independent media. The crisis of the journalism industry has led to the search for new business models and new agreements with the public. The good news is that Latin America is witnessing the emergence of a generation of journalistic initiatives that are innovative, seeking financial sustainability, and aiming to fill informational gaps left by the mainstream media. The examples are many, including El Faro (El Salvador) to Ojo Publico (Peru), La Silla Facia (Colombia), Chequeado (Argentina), Nomada (Guatemala), and Midia Ninja (Brazil). Despite their diversity and the freshness that they bring to the media ecosystem, these initiatives are still fragile, non-hegemonic, and incapable of profoundly transforming Latin America’s political structure and causing its citizens to awaken from their paralysing sleep.

In the political lexicon, whistleblowers appear most prominently in the 1970s, including Daniel Ellsberg’s leaking of the Pentagon Papers.20 In Latin America, whistleblowers remain rare, they are still little known and are not considered “patriots of humanity,”21 nor have they inaugurated a new “art of revolt,” as in the case of, for example, Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.22 It is quite true that the figure of the whistleblower is controversial and to some extent disturbing, since they go through the process of conducting espionage, betrayal, and violations of confidence,23 but such acts are to be balanced out by a public spiritedness, a commitment to the collective and community, and by the courage to challenge the powerful.

Now, more empowered by new systems of information dissemination, whistleblowers are revealing terrible secrets about global surveillance, heinous conduct in armed conflicts and the immoral market of personal data. The mega-era of the whistleblower, initiated with Wikileaks in 2010 and elevated to a higher plane with Edward Snowden's revelations in 2013, indicates a fertile path forward for new actors seeking to follow in their footsteps.24 Assange and Snowden have powered a global movement for more transparency and have shaken off existing social structures in the process.25 Transparency fundamentalists - the cypherpunks - advocate encryption and anonymity, preaching privacy for the weak (the citizens) alongside maximum transparency for the powerful: governments and corporations.26

Societies can benefit from a partnership between media and whistleblowers, and it is an irreversible new reality.27 However, working with whistleblowers can lead to ethical risks.28 The large volume of data shared by whistleblowers can lead to a lack of verifiability, bias of coverage, pre-judgements, and possible injustices. It can also cause journalists to deviate from their initiatives, be hermetic, and abandon basic informational care practices. This can also lead to loss of breadth in long-term coverage. The distance between journalists and whistleblowers can lead to passivity, lack of control over journalistic input, delegation of trust, and the transfer of responsibility from the reporter to the source.

In Latin America, in most cases, whistleblowers act on less noble interests than their fellow global patriots. Latin American whistleblowers reveal secrets from within governments and companies to attack former allies, to fight against practices they no longer agree on, and to reduce their punishment after a criminal conviction. It is neither civic commitment nor the principle of transparency that motivates these whistleblowers, but disagreement over procedures and the fear of personal loss. They are not guided by the common good, but their acts are instead containment measures or in order to reduce damage inflicted to themselves. They are not whistleblowers, they are informers.

That is what we have been witnessing in Operation Car Wash, the largest investigation on corruption in Brazilian history and perhaps the largest offensive of its kind in effect today in the world. The case has had repercussions in Peru and Ecuador, and the informers are politicians, executives of Petrobras, and large contractors, who operate within a structure of corruption involving parties and governments, guaranteeing economic advantages to all involved. In Brazil, the revealed secrets have allowed for the chance to challenge long-standing impunity, but they have also fed a new modality of justice, which privileges selective punishment.29

In Latin America in general, and in Brazil in particular, corruption and impunity are endemic. For many, the corruption is presented as a negative trait of local culture, the historical result of settler predations and the actions of those in power who have taken possession of common goods. Corruption is embodied not only in acts such as bribing traffic cops and diverting public resources, but above all by the permissiveness created by these gestures and the naturalisation that getting something for oneself is the only way out of an unjust, unequal, and disjointed society. Corruption thus emerges from two factors: exaggerated individualism and a weak notion of the common good. Without a consolidated concept of the public, the individual, who is surrounded by individualistic values and does not believe in collective projects, takes refuge in a bubble whose limits are his own self.

In societies where institutions are fragile, where political instability does not allow for the crystallisation of a collective project of the nation and where the hijacking of the state by powerful interest groups has gone on for centuries, seeking to counteract this logic is to be naive or foolish. Corruption spreads via a “dog-eat-dog” approach, and a weak conception of citizenship fades away even further. In Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index, Brazil ranks 106th in 180 countries surveyed. No Latin American is among the twenty countries with the top results. The best positioned are Uruguay (21st), Chile (26th), and Costa Rica (44th). The worst Latino results in the study of 180 countries are Guatemala (146th) Haiti (168th), and Venezuela (173rd).30 This does not mean that all are corrupt, but that the idea of corruption is widely disseminated, even while recognised as bad, but tolerated at an alarming level, since it seems to be embedded in everyday life in local cultures. Changing perceptions depends on transforming daily social practices, which seem to be immobile since they are part of the cultural constitution of those peoples.

The strengthening of anti-corruption mechanisms was one of the commitments by the participating nations of the Eighth Summit of the Americas, which took place in April 2018 in Peru.31 However, another obstacle to overcoming corruption in Latin America is impunity. Impunity feeds corruption because it signals that little or nothing bad happens to those who commit such crimes. Due to its history of authoritarianism, predominance of elites in command and fragile citizenship, impunity in Latin America protects the corrupt who wield great power, generally linked to big companies, parties, and governments. In Brazil, for centuries, the seemingly sole targets of law enforcement were blacks, poor people, and prostitutes. But then. Operation Car Wash, the largest corruption investigation into the history of that country was initiated. It was capable not only of identifying crimes against the state and punishing powerful people, but above all, of offering transparency and restoring a path lost by Brazil in its developmental trajectory.

Operation Car Wash created the perfect storm because it fights corruption, dismantles impunity, and attends to popular demands for transparency. But seven years after its launch, it has produced more than just the arrest of politicians and executives and return of illicitly taken resources. We can also see how the operation worked to affect the politicisation of the judiciary and realised the spectacularisation of justice, creating a neo-punitivism based on scandal, outrage, and institutional abuses. The scope of Operation Car Wash cannot be denied. In five years, after thousands of investigation procedures, more than 200 people were sentenced to more than 2,500 years in prison for corruption, money laundering, gang formation, and receiving undue advantages. In addition to Brazil, the investigation has led to the discovery of corruption schemes in other countries, reaching renowned politicians such as former presidents Ollanda Humala and Alejandro Toledo of Peru and Jorge Gias of Ecuador.

The general lack of effort to tackle corruption leads citizens to fully support any measures that signal some confrontation with the problem. Operation Car Wash presents itself as transparent and effective, and provides numbers and results via the websites of the Federal Police and Federal prosecutors, giving visibility to its actions, and providing accountability to society.32

In Brazil, in the last seven years, eliminating corruption appears to be more important than reducing economic misery and social inequality, or improving services for the poor. It is a cry for transparency that hypertrophies the society through spectacle and scandal, which has eroded privacy and established a regime of neo-punitivism.33

Kristin Lord draws attention to the fact that transparency favours a diffusion of information that is not politically neutral: it can strengthen the weak, but it can also make the powerful even stronger.34 Transparency is not synonymous with truth, because the information distributed can be skewed, incomplete, incorrect, and inaccurate. More information or an accumulation of information itself, does not produce any truth if it is missing direction, flow, and context. Thus greater transparency is not a total antidote to the world’s problems because it contains dangers as well, such as the weakening of privacy and personal freedoms. According to Lord, greater transparency will not make the planet more peaceful, more cooperative, more tolerant, or more democratic. Transparency can help us pursue these goals, but efforts in other directions are also necessary and urgent.

As Byung Chui-Han has argued, the requirement of transparency also begins to become more intense whenever there is no longer any confidence in institutions.35 In order to defeat historical enemies like corruption and impunity, Latin Americans defend the establishment of transparent regimes and transparency societies, but these are also societies of suspicion, exposure, evidence, intimacy, information, revelation, and control. If Latin Americans have lost control over public policy and resources, transparency becomes a new social imperative. According to Chui-Han, there is no motto that dominates the public debate more than transparency, because it allows control on one side and, on the other side, it allows the satisfaction of a right: freedom of information. The right to know is important for today’s complex societies, but transparency is not a supreme good, warns Michael Schudson, for whom there are also important reasons for maintaining non-transparency.36 The secret ballot, the protection of vulnerable populations, maintenance of civility in social interaction, and human dignity itself are all part of this complex of imperative non-transparent institutions, practices, and values.

But there is a fetish for transparency that prevents most people from seeing it as a systemic constraint that encompasses all social processes and acts to standardise practices and positions. Chui-Han also denounces this process, drawing attention to the violence of transparency that is effective in levelling the human being to a functional element of a system.37 Another form of violence: the imperative of transparency puts under suspicion everything that does not submit to its regime of visibility. Subjects are encouraged to expose themselves voluntarily, seduced by the rhetoric of social networks, for example, by feeding digital panoptics everywhere.

Operation Car Wash is today, in Brazil, a milestone in the fight against corruption and the impunity of the powerful. Very powerful billionaires and politicians were arrested, something very unusual in my country. A few billion dollars that had been diverted and embezzled were returned to the public coffers. These two factors feed the hope around a broader and balanced concept of Justice, necessary for a democracy. However, there are also disputes about the progress of the investigations, their operation, and the results accumulated. The main complaints include:

  • 1 The Federal Police now has unprecedented power and autonomy, appearing to be beyond the institutional control of the government prompting fear in a country with an authoritarian history;
  • 2 The politicisation of the performance of judges and prosecutors is increasing, a complaint that encompasses the need for completely impartial and balanced processes;
  • 3 Operation Car Wash has pursued targets only on one side of the political spectrum, which signals partisan use of police and justice;
  • 4 Police actions are spectacular and mediatic;
  • 5 Operation Car Wash has often disregarded human rights.

To conclude, I will concentrate on the last two problems of Operation Car Wash: the spectacularisation of justice and the violations of human rights. Brazilian media generously covered Operation Car Wash and has devoted much space to the operations of the Federal Police. The stages of research are baptised with flashy names, such as “Doomsday” (Juizo Final), “Carbon 14” (Carbono 14), and “Ghost Hunting” (Caça-Fantasma). Such choices have a marketing appeal, which facilitates their médiatisation and highlights those executing such operations. In the meantime, some policemen have become celebrities, including being subjects of carnival marches and masks.38 A few agents of the judiciary also became famous, like Judge Sérgio Moro, compared several times with the mythical Eliot Ness and the relentless fighting corruption in Ghana. Moro often appears on magazine covers, and is represented in dolls and posters in public demonstrations in favour of Operation Car Wash. For Brazilian media, the research is compared to the Italian Mani Polite.

The journalistic coverage combines spectacularisation of corruption and criminalisation of politics, increasing the detachment and disbelief of the population on possible political solutions. There is also aestheticisation of criminal proceedings and the judge assumes a unique place of truth, distributing dogmas of the public life in the form of judgements. 39

In the case of Operation Car Wash, transparency reaches the level of a spectacle for the masses. In so doing, human rights are violated without much regret, as this will enable the long-awaited end of corruption and end of impunity. Thus, the arrests of Operation Car Wash are spectacular, with live broadcasts on television and the flash flooding of all parts of the media. Prisoners are displayed as trophies to demonstrate to society that no one is above the law. In some cases, the media will display images of prisoners in the penitentiary system, such as the former governor of Rio de Janeiro, Sergio Cabral, who was shown handcuffed with his hair shaved and in a prison uniform. That embarrassed and downcast face acts to cast a sharp contrast to the happy countenance of the man who brought the 2016 Olympics to Brazil. The spreading of images of Cabral40 under arrest was part of social networks exulting in a patriotic enjoyment that justice was finally reaching the most powerful. For social networks, it was justice, not a media lynching. The masses celebrated the trophies and forgot about the human rights of the accused and convicted.

The same occurred in March 2016 when Brazilian media reproduced an excerpt from the recording of a phone call between President Dilma Rousseff and former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. The interception of the audio was determined by Judge Sergio Moro to be illegal since it contradicted the Federal Constitution. Only the Supreme Court could allow recordings of the type when it comes to Presidents of the Republic. But Judge Moro argued that it was Lula's phone that was being intercepted, and for a reason we do not know, Judge Moro decided that the recording would no longer be secret, releasing the audio to the media. Although the phone call did not bring any blatant illegality, the episode was extensively exploited by the media and the forces that wanted to overthrow Dilma Rousseff, which happened soon after.41

Operation Car Wash is the best example of how, in the name of transparency, rights are violated and accountability becomes a spectacle of inquisition. It is no wonder that the investigation has already inspired the production of a film (Federal Police - The Law is for Everyone, 2017)42 and a series for Netflix (The Mechanism, 20 1 8).43 As Chui-Han has argued, transparency does not only serve a moral imperative or as a bio-political appeal, but above all, it satisfies economic imperatives.44 Let the money wheel spin! While it is important and necessary, Operation Car Wash is like transparency: it is not an ultimate solution to all problems, and its existence does not prevent Brazil and Latin America from continuing to suffer from inequality and injustice.


  • 1 David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of L«/igi«/ge(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010).
  • 2 "Brasil contribui com 39% do PIB da América Latina,” Época Negocios, 17 May 2015.
  • 3 See Latin American Internet Usage Statistics, Internet World Stats, www.internetworldstats.com/stats 10.htm
  • 4 "ECLAC Says Economic Activity in Latin America and the Caribbean Will Grow 2.2% This Year,” Curasao Cronicle, 16 April 2018.
  • 5 “Costa Rica aposta na continuidade e evita dar o poder a líder evangélico,” El País, 2 April 2018.
  • 6 "O fim da era Castro em Cuba,” UOL. 18 April 2018.
  • 7 Jessé Souza, Radiografió do golpe (Sao Paulo: Leya, 2016).
  • 8 See, Datafolha: Instituto des Pesquisas.

http://datafolha.folha.uol.com.br/opiniaopublica/avaliacaodegoverno/presi dente/micheltemer/indice-1 .shtml

  • 9 Lula tem 30%, Bolsonaro, 17%, Marina. 10%, aponta pesquisa Datafolha para 2018. Gl, June 10. 2018. See https://gl.globo.com/politica/noticia/lula-tem-30-bol sonaro-17-marina-10-aponta-pesquisa-datafolha-para-2018 .ghtml
  • 10 Argentina (1930-1938, 1955-1958, 1966-1973, 1976-1983); Bolivia (1971-1985); Brazil (1889-1894, 1964-1985); Chile (1973-1990); Colombia (1953-1957); Costa Rica (1863-1866, 1868-1876, 1877-1882, 1917-1919); Cuba (1933-1959); Dominican Republic (1889-1899; 1930-1961); El Salvador (1931-1979); Ecuador (1972-1979); Guatemala (1954-1996); Haiti (1988-1990, 1991-1994); Honduras (1963-1974); Mexico (1853-1855, 1876-1910); Nicaragua (1925-1936, 1936-1956, 1956-1966, 1966-1976, 1976-1985); Panama (1968-1989); Paraguay (1954-1989); Peru (1968-1980); Suriname (1980-1988); Uruguay (1875-1890, 1973-1984); Venezuela (1847-1858, 1908-1935, 1948-1958).
  • 11 Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, El Salvador, Ecuador. Guatemala, Nicaragua. Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
  • 12 Impeachment: Fernando Collor (Brazil, 1992), Carlos Andrés Pérez (Venezuela, 1993), Abdalá Bucaran (Ecuador. 1997), Lúcio Gutiérrez (Ecuador, 2005), Fernando Lugo (Paraguay, 2012) and Dilma Rousseff. Coup d’état: Manuel Zelaya (Honduras, 2009). Disclaimer: Pedro Paulo Kuczynski (Peru, 2018).
  • 13 Lisa Müller, Comparing Mass Media in Established Democracies: Patterns of Media Performance (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2014)
  • 14 Elizabeth J. Zechmeister, ¿Deberíamos alarmarnos porque uno de cada cuatro ciudadanos de Estados Unidos cree que la toma del poder por los militares es justificada? Report, 9 January 2018, Americas Barometer, Vanderbilt University.
  • 15 Bill Orme, Acceso a la información: lecciones de la América Latina. Cuadernos de Discusión de Comunicación e Información, no. 8, UNESCO. Montevideo, 2017.
  • 16 Silvio Waisbord. Watchdog Journalism in South America: News, Accountability and Democracy (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000).
  • 17 Martin Becerra & Guillermo Mastrini, La concentración infocomunicacional en América Latina 2000-2015: nuevos medios y tecnologías, menos actores (Bernal: Universidad Nacional de Quilmes/Observacom, 2017).
  • 18 See Media Ownership Monitor, Reporters Without Borders, www.mom-rsf.org
  • 19 Mariella Bastian, Media and Accountability in Latin America: Framework - Conditions - Instruments (Wiesbaden: Springer, 2019).

Richard Calland & Guy Dehn. eds.. Whistleblowing Around the World: Law, Culture. and Practice (London: Public Concern at Work and the Open Democracy Advice Centre, 2004); Andy Greenberg, This Machine Kills Secrets. How WikiLeaks, Cypherpunks and Hacktivists Aim to Free the World’s Information. (London: Virgin Books. 2012); Michael Schudson, The Rise of the Right to Know: Politics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945-1975 (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press, 2015); Carmem Apaza and Yongjin Chang, eds.. Whistleblowing in the World: Government Policy, Mass Media and the Law (London: Palgrave MacMillan, 2017).

Shawn Alli. "Whistleblowers: True Patriots of Humanity” (self-published, 2014). Geoffroy de Lagasnerie, The Art of Revolt: Snowden, Assange. Manning (Stanford. CA: Stanford University Press, 2017).

Daniel Domscheit-Berg, Os bastidores do Wikileaks (Rio de Janeiro: Elsevier, 2011); Edward Jay Epstein, How America Lost Its Secrets: Edward Snowden, the Man and the Theft (New York: Alfred Knopf, 2017).

Micah Sifry, Wikileaks and the Age of Transparency (New York: OR Books, 2011). RonaldGoldfarb. ed., After Snowden: Privacy, Secrecy and Security in the Information Age (New York: St. Martin's Press, 2015); Glenn Greenwald, Sent lugar para se esconder (Rio de Janeiro: Sextante, 2014). Luke Harding, Os arquivos Snowden (Sào Paulo: Leya, 2014); David Lyon, Surveillance after Snowden (Cambridge: Polity Books, 2015); Camilo Rios, ed., Nuevos Paradigmas de la Vigilancia? Miradas desde América Latina. Memorias del IV Simposio Internacional Lavits Buenos Aires (Córdoba: Fundación Vía Libre. 2016).

Julian Assange, Jacob Appelbaum, Andy Müller-Maguhn and Jérémie Zimmermann, Cypherpunks (Sào Paulo: Boitempo. 2013).

Rogério Christofbletti and Cándida Oliveira, “Jornalismo pós-WikiLeaks: deon-tologia em tempos de vazamentos globais de informaçào,” Contemporánea 9, no. 2, (2011); David Leigh and David Harding. WikiLeaks: a guerra de Julian Assange contra os segredos de Estado (Campinas: Venís, 2011); Benedetta Brevini. Arne Hintz, Patrick McCurdy, eds.. Beyond Wikileaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism and Society (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013); Emily Bell and Taylor Owen, eds.. Journalism after Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State (New York: Columbia University Press, 2017). Christofoletti, Rogério, "Ethical Risks, Informers, Whistleblowers, Leaks and Clamor For Transparency,” Brazilian Journalism Research 12, no. 2 (2016).

Beginning in June 2018, The Intercept Brasil began publishing a series of reports revealing the dark side of Operation Car Wash: abuse of authority by judges, disregard of laws, and manipulation of the media by prosecutors. See: www.theintercept.com/series/mensagens-lava-jato/

See Global Report 2019, Transparencia Internacional Brasil, https://comunidade. transparenciainternacional.org.br/asset/67:indice-de-percepcao-da-corrupcao-2019? stream= 1

Transparency, access to information, protection of whistleblowers, respect for human rights, and freedom of expression was another of the seven major commitments signed. See the Compromiso de Lima: Gobernabilidad Democrática Frente A La Corrupción, 14 April 2018.

Operaçào Lava Jato. Policía Federal, see www.pf.gov.br/imprensa/lava-jato

Guy Debord, A Sociedade do Espetáculo - Comentarios Sobre a Sociedade do Espetando. (Rio de Janeiro: Ed. Contraponto, 1997); John B. Thompson. O Escándalo Político - Poder e visibilidade na era da midia (Petrópolis: Vozes, 2002).

Kristin M. Lord, The Perils and Promise of Global Transparency: Why the Information Revolution May Not Lead to Security, Democracy, or Peace (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2006).

Byung Chui-Han, Transparenzgesellschaft (Berlin: Matheus & Seitz Verlag, 2012).

  • 36 Michael Schudson, The Rise of the Right to Know: Polítics and the Culture of Transparency, 1945-1975. (Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2015).
  • 37 Byung Chul-Han, Transparenzgesellschaft (Berlin: Matheus & Seitz Verlag, 2012).
  • 38 Rosemery Segurado, “A corrupçào entre o espetàculo e a transparència das investigaçoes: anàlise da atuaçào da policia federal no àmbito da operaçào Lava Jato,” Lihero 20, no. 40 (2017).
  • 39 Ibid.
  • 40 “Cabral tem o cabelo raspado em presídio de Bangu, veja foto,” O Gloho (18 November 2016).
  • 41 "Ponto de Vista: Grampos e as responsabilidades da mídia,” OBJETHOS (20 March 2016).
  • 42 Marcelo Antunez, dir.. Policia Federal: A Lei é para Todos, film (2017).
  • 43 José Padilha, dir., O Mechanismo, film (2018-2019).
  • 44 Byung Chul-Han, Transparenzgesellschaft.

6 Blind spots

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