RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazil’s Federal Police announced this week that it would shut down a crusading anticorruption task force, drawing a rebuke from prosecutors who warned the move could throttle investigations that have exposed systemic corruption among the country’s political and business elites.
The decision comes as President Michel Temer, who is among the politicians facing criminal charges stemming from the unit’s work, is scrambling to shore up support among lawmakers to to avoid trial over bribery allegations.
The Federal Police, which announced the shift on Thursday, characterized it as a bureaucratic reshuffling of personnel and resources that would increase efficiency. In a statement, it said that members of the team known as the Lava Jato, or Car Wash, task force would be absorbed into the organization’s main anticorruption division to more effectively “fight against corruption and money laundering and facilitate the exchange of information.”
Members of the task force, the country’s …
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