Luis Roberto Mesquita: Businessman - Brazil (Integrity Award)

Filed under - Whistleblowing

Received the Award on 11 October 2002

award winner image

"Mesquita has taken on the most powerful and corrupt in his city again and again."
Cláudio Weber Abramo, General Secretary of Transpârencia Brasil

"People have no idea how directly proportional the existence of corruption is to the misery of our people."
Luis Roberto Mesquita, Integrity Awards winner 2002

Luis Roberto Mesquita initiated a campaign to clean up politics in Guarulhos, Brazil. He organised public meetings and challenged candidates to commit themselves to corruption-free government if elected.

When he subsequently found out that the new mayor's family had bought city properties at knockdown prices, the problems began.

"They tried to blackmail me, they even offered me various positions, but I would never accept such offers. Then there were personal threats, death threats, bomb threats, so both my movement and myself personally were put under a great deal of pressure," recalls the 43-year-old businessman. Undaunted, Mesquita led a campaign that resulted in the mayor being dismissed from office, impeached, arrested, and finally jailed for 50 days. A second campaign targeted corrupt councillors, some of whom had even demanded bribes to remove their crooked boss from office.

Accepting the award, Mesquita spoke of his belief in the power of the people. "The average citizen can do a lot to help in the struggle against corruption," he said. "The results cannot always be chosen by us," he cautioned, "but we have to fight for a better, fairer and more just world for our children and grandchildren. Fortunately, hope never dies."

Country / Territory - Brazil   
Region - Americas   |   Europe and Central Asia   
Language(s) - English   
Topic - Whistleblowing   
Tags - Video   |   Mesquita   |   Cláudio Weber Abramo   |   Guarulhos   |   São Paulo   

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