In Latin America, FIFA Scandal Fuels Anti-Corruption Movement

In Latin America, FIFA Scandal Fuels Anti-Corruption Movement
Anti-World Cup demonstrators hold a banner near Maracana stadium, where the final World Cup game took place, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 13, 2014 (AP photo by Leo Correa).

When U.S. prosecutors unveiled a stack of corruption indictments against individuals involved with FIFA, the world’s governing body for soccer, they unwittingly added fuel to a potentially transformative movement that is emerging with astonishing force in Latin America.

Throughout the continent, powerful men and women who had grown accustomed to operating with impunity in gray areas of the law are suddenly finding themselves on the defensive. They now face a day of reckoning, as mass movements demand an end to graft, corruption and favoritism benefiting top government officials as well as their friends, families and supporters.

Against this backdrop, Washington’s FIFA bombshell burst in a most receptive region. Not only are Latin Americans already focused on corruption, they are also, as they have always been, obsessed with soccer.

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