en-fr  Judge Sérgio Moro: 2018.
Discours d'Obtention du Diplôme.
par Notre Dame News.
Père John Jenkins, mesdames et messieurs les membres du Conseil d'administration de l'université Notre-Dame, mesdames et messieurs les membres de la faculté, mesdames et messieurs les professeurs et membres du personnel, je vous remercie chaleureusement de votre présence ici. Je suis très honoré.

Pour commencer, permettez-moi de féliciter tous les nouveaux diplômés de la promotion de 2018. L'obtention du diplôme de l'université de Notre-Dame est un exploit formidable. De nouveaux défis vous attendent tous à l'extérieur, mais aujourd'hui, place à la joie et à la fête. Félicitations.

Je veux également féliciter les parents. Il n'est pas facile d'élever des fils et des filles, d'essayer de les éduquer par des paroles et par l'exemple, d'épargner pour les coûts de l'éducation et d'espérer que tout ira bien. Donc, leur succès en ce jour est en partie votre succès.

Je suis juge au Brésil et — vous ne le savez probablement pas — je suis aussi un père. Mon plus jeune enfant, un garçon, est encore à l'école. Mais ma fille aînée suit des cours de droit au Brésil. Je suis fier que ma fille en soit arrivée là et je peux à peine imaginer à quel point je serai fier le jour de sa remise de diplôme. Par conséquent, pères et mères et autres membres de la famille, j'ai au moins une idée de l'immensité de votre fierté en ce moment. Félicitations.

Permettez-moi de dire que lorsque j'ai reçu l'invitation de prononcer ce discours d'ouverture, ce fut un grand honneur et un défi aussi, mais surtout une grande surprise.

Qu'est-ce qu'un juge d'un pays d'Amérique latine a à voir avec une cérémonie d'ouverture d'une université distinguée aux États-Unis ?

Après réflexion, j'en ai conclu qu'après tout, le monde était vraiment tout petit.

Je travaille sur des affaires très dures impliquant la corruption criminelle au Brésil et il est nécessaire de dire que j'ai beaucoup appris du travail des autres - non seulement au Brésil mais à l'étranger.

Permettez-moi de citer, par exemple, le travail du célèbre juge italien Giovanni Falcone. Falcone était juge en Sicile à une époque où la mafia italienne, la Cosa Nostra, vivait impunément et semblait invincible. Les chefs n'ont jamais été punis pour leurs crimes. À cette époque, dans les années 1980, la Mafia a tué des policiers, des procureurs, des juges et des politiciens — ils ont même tué un général de l'armée italienne —, quiconque osait les défier. Mais avec le travail du juge Falcone et de ses courageux collègues, la loi de la Mafia a pris fin. Dans un célèbre procès-fleuve qui a duré près de deux ans et s'est terminé en 1987, 344 mafiosos, y compris des chefs, ont finalement été condamnés. La Mafia sicilienne existe toujours, mais elle n'a plus le même pouvoir qu'auparavant. Le plus important : l'impunité n'est plus la règle.

Je me souviens avoir lu dans un livre de Falcone l'admiration qu'il avait pour les lois américaines contre le crime organisé et comment la loi Rognoni-La Torre, loi italienne approuvée en 1982 pour criminaliser les associations mafieuses, était influencée par la loi RICO. RICO signifie Racketeer Influenced (organismes influencés) et Corrupt Organizations (organisations corrompues) et il s'agit d'une loi américaine approuvée en 1970.

Ce qui fait de tout cela un très petit monde, c'est que la loi RICO a été rédigée par un diplômé de l'université de Notre-Dame.

George Robert Blakey, diplômé de cette université, d'abord en philosophie, puis en droit et qui acheva ses études en 1960. Il a ensuite été professeur de droit à l'université de Notre-Dame. Malgré ses magnifiques succès universitaires puis dans le service public, son travail en tant que l'un des principaux rédacteurs de la loi RICO mérite une attention particulière. Cette loi a donné aux forces de l'ordre l'outil nécessaire pour démanteler efficacement les organisations criminelles. Elle a été utilisée, par exemple, pour démanteler les cinq familles mafieuses de New York à la fin du siècle dernier. Elle a influencé non seulement la loi « La Torre Act », mais aussi des lois similaires partout dans le monde.

Dans mon pays, le travail de Blakey a influencé la loi brésilienne 12 850 ( douze mille huit cent cinquante ), approuvée en 2013 ( deux mille treize ), qui définit les organisations criminelles et donne également aux agents brésiliens les outils d'investigation nécessaires pour se concentrer sur les crimes commis par les mafieux, incluant les écoutes téléphoniques ou les accords judiciaires avec les membres du crime organisé. Elle a eu un impact important sur les cas de corruption dans l'opération Lava Jato dont je parlerai plus tard.

Qu'est-ce que tout cela vous dit ?

Pour moi, cela signifie que tout est connecté dans ce petit monde et que vous pouvez raisonnablement espérer que ce que vous faites aux États-Unis, ou plus précisément à l'université de Notre-Dame, peut avoir un impact positif à l'étranger. Cela rend vos responsabilités encore plus grandes.

Maintenant, permettez-moi de dire quelque chose au sujet du Brésil et de mon travail là-bas parce que c'est en partie la raison pour laquelle je suis ici. Je pense qu'il est possible de tirer des leçons générales ou des suggestions pour vous de ce qui se passe au Brésil.

Le Brésil est le plus grand pays d'Amérique latine et la huitième plus grande économie du monde.

Il a beaucoup de points communs avec les États-Unis.

Bien sûr, nous n'avons pas une économie aussi forte que les États-Unis. Le Brésil n'a pas non plus une grande influence sur les affaires mondiales.

De toute façon, nous avons notre place dans le monde et nous sommes heureux d'en faire partie.

Mais, comme je l'ai dit, le Brésil et les États-Unis ont des points communs, par exemple dans leur histoire.

Après tout, nous sommes Américains dans le Nouveau Monde, avec tout ce que cela représente.

Nous avons obtenu notre indépendance en 1822 (mille huit cent vingt-deux). Vous avez eu la vôtre en 1776 (mille sept cent soixante-seize).

Les deux pays ont souffert de l'esclavage au 19e siècle.

Les deux pays ont reçu des millions d'immigrants de partout dans le monde. Au Brésil, nous avons non seulement des Portugais mais aussi des Italiens, des Japonais, des Allemands, des Libanais et des Espagnols.

Notre démocratie n'est pas aussi vieille que la démocratie américaine. Pour être honnête, nous avons souffert depuis notre indépendance de plusieurs dictatures. La dernière a pris fin en 1985 (mille neuf cent quatre-vingt-cinq). Depuis lors, les citoyens brésiliens ont recouvré tous leurs droits et libertés démocratiques.

Depuis lors, il est possible de dire que nous, comme vous ici, avons les mêmes rêves de liberté et d'égalité.

Cependant, après avoir récupéré notre démocratie, nous avons encore commis plusieurs erreurs.

Il semble que nous, au Brésil, en tant que peuple, n'avons pas réussi à empêcher le détournement et l'abus de la puissance publique à des fins privées. La corruption s'est développée et s'est généralisée, devenant endémique ou même systémique.

De toute façon depuis 2014 une énorme investigation a commencé sous ma juridiction . Il s'agit de millions de dollars de pots-de-vin versés dans des marchés publics à des fonctionnaires et à des politiciens de haut niveau. L'affaire est appelée l'opération Lava Jato. En anglais, on appelle cela "the Car Wash Operation" (« l'opération de lavage de voiture »). Il n'est pas possible de décrire ici tout ce que l'affaire englobe — ou d'expliquer exactement pourquoi elle porte un nom aussi étrange.

Mais permettez-moi de dire que, contrairement à notre passé où régnait l'impunité pour la grande corruption, cette fois plusieurs puissantss criminels sont jugés selon des procédures en bonne et due forme et tenus pour responsables. Aujourd'hui, à la suite de cette enquête, plus de 157 personnes ont été condamnées pour corruption et blanchiment d'argent. Parmi eux, il y a des hommes d'affaires et des politiciens puissants comme les dirigeants et les PDG des plus grandes entreprises de construction du Brésil, des dirigeants de Petrobras, une société publique brésilienne, et des politiciens de haut niveau, comme des membres du Congrès, un ex-secrétaire aux finances du gouvernement fédéral, un ancien président de la Chambre et même un ancien président de la République fédérative.

Il est intéressant de noter qu'il a également été découvert que des pots-de-vin étaient également versés par des entreprises brésiliennes à des fonctionnaires et des politiciens à l'étranger, par exemple dans d'autres pays d'Amérique latine. Certains de ces pays ont reçu les preuves et instruisent leurs propres affaires. Pour cette raison, certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une vague d'anticorruption dans toute l'Amérique latine.

Et pour être honnête, cela peut se produire dans de nombreuses parties du monde. Nous avons tous récemment entendu des informations concernant des accusations de corruption et des condamnations contre l'ancien président de l'Afrique du Sud et l'ancien président de la Corée du Sud.

Au Brésil, je fais partie des nombreuses personnes qui travaillent sur cette enquête criminelle. C'est le produit d'une action institutionnelle menée par des juges, des procureurs et des policiers.

Ce travail n'a pas été facile. Les vieilles habitudes de corruption et d'impunité au sein du système sont difficiles à perdre.

Il y a des intimidations, des menaces, des risques et des tentatives de diffamation. Certains criminels et leurs alliés ne veulent pas changer le statu quo de la corruption et de l'impunité. Et ils sont nombreux et puissants.

Nonobstant cela, l'enquête, les poursuites et les procès sont en cours et le peuple brésilien les soutient. Depuis 2015, des millions de citoyens brésiliens sont descendus dans les rues pour protester contre la corruption et pour soutenir l'enquête « Car Wash » Un sondage réalisé en avril a montré que 84% des Brésiliens souhaitent que l'enquête se poursuive.

Bien sûr, la corruption générale découverte au Brésil est honteuse. Mais il existe une autre façon de voir les choses. On ne doit pas avoir honte d'appliquer la loi. Comme l'a dit un jour le président des USA Théodore Roosevelt, << la dénonciation et la punition de la corruption publique est un honneur pour une nation, pas une honte. Tous les brésiliens ont un énorme espoir qu'à la fin nous ayons une économie plus forte et une démocratie avec plus d'intégrité et plus de qualité globale.

En résumé, nous ne voulons pas être considérés comme une nation corrompue, mais comme une démocratie moderne avec un état de droit.

What the case taught me - not as judge but as a man - is that you should never give up on a fight for a good cause.

Not so long ago, corruption and impunity seemed invincible. For some it was a kind of natural fate, a tropical disease. In truth it is just a product of institutional weakness. No country is destined to live with it. You can deal with the problem and reduce impunity and corruption. You just need the political will to do so.

I don’t know what will happen with Brazil's future. We could suffer setbacks. But I do believe we have given ourselves at least a chance to have a better country. Anyway, I believe that what really matters is what you stand for and fighting for integrity in public life is a worthy cause.

Coming to the last part of my speech, let me say again that you are in a day of joy and celebration. You are graduating from the University of Notre Dame, this distinguished institution. You will start a new stage of your lives. You will be lawyers, judges, physicians, engineers, scientists, astronauts, professors, whatever your wishes and your talents are capable of.

I really hope that you all will be happy in your careers and also in your private lives.

But although it is true that “every person exists as an end in himself,” as Kant, the Königsberg philosopher has said, it is also true that “no man is born for himself,” as Walwyn, one of the Levellers of the old England taught.

Never forget to act with integrity and with virtue in your private and public life. Never stop fighting for these values within your community. Never give up on demanding virtue and integrity from your government.

Never forget the cornerstone of democratic nations, which is the rule of law. It means that everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law. In this meaning it works to protect the most vulnerable. But it also means that no one is above the law. Thomas Fuller, also from old England, once said “Be you never so high, the law is above you.” That is what makes democracies a government by law. This is a lesson not only for Brazil but even to mature democracies.

Democracy starts to fade when citizens turn their backs on public matters, and when citizens stop caring if their government works for the common good or only for special interests.

Allow me to give four short suggestions from my experience. There are not suggestions for future criminal judges, prosecutors or police officers, although some of you could hold an office like that in the future. These are suggestions for citizens concerned for their liberties and rights, including freedom from a corrupted government.

First, as I said earlier, never give up on a fight for a good cause. Even if you lose, what really matters is what you stand for.

Second, always remember that even in the most difficult moments, when it seems that the challenges before you are insurmountable, you will never be alone if you are fighting for a just cause or for justice.

Third, remember that your behavior can inspire others. You will be surprised by how other people could help if they have good examples and receive the right incentives.

Fourth, never surrender to the evils of corruption or despair. Above all, there is no victory if along the path you lose your soul.

Now, take a moment and look around you. Beside you are your friends. You will probably carry these friendships for the rest of your life. Real friends are forever. Take another moment and look a little bit further. There are your parents, your relatives, your professors and also the University personnel. They all care for you and you care for all of them.

But now take a longer moment and think about the larger picture, about the country you live in and the small world that we all live together and share. Beyond the personal pursuit of happiness it is also your duty to care for them. Not only for integrity and virtue, but also for the well-being of all. We face new challenges in this new century. We still live in a world of deep inequality, where not everyone is free or has the necessary minimum to live with dignity.

Some say there is a risk of democratic retreat in the world. I am not sure I believe in this because of the enduring strength of democratic values, freedom and equality. They are at the core of our hearts and minds, and they are celebrated at cherished institutions like the University of Notre Dame. It is incumbent upon all of you to defend our liberties and rights, and to continue the fight for true democracy. There is still much to be done. I hope that you all are successful. Thank you all for your attention, good luck and Godspeed - or as we say in Brazil, “boa sorte e vão com Deus.”
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Commencement Address.
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by Notre Dame News.
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I am very honored.
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To begin, let me congratulate all of you, the newest graduates, the Class of 2018.
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Graduation from the University of Notre Dame is a tremendous achievement.
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New challenges wait outside for you all, but this day is for joy and celebration.
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Congratulations.
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I also want to congratulate the parents.
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So their success on this day is partly your success.
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I am a judge in Brazil and - you probably don’t know - I am also a father.
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My younger child, a boy, is still in school.
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But my older daughter is attending law school in Brazil.
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Congratulations.
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After some reflection, I concluded that after all this is really a small world.
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Let me cite, for example, the work of the famous Italian judge Giovanni Falcone.
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The bosses were never punished for their crimes.
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But with the work of Judge Falcone and his brave colleagues, the Mafia rule was put to an end.
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The Sicily Mafia still exists but not anymore with the same power they had before.
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Most important - impunity is no longer the rule.
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RICO means Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations and it is a US statute approved in 1970.
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He later served as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.
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It influenced not only the La Torre Act but also similar statutes all around the world.
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It had a large impact on corruption cases in the Lava Jato Operation about which I will speak later.
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What does all this tell you?
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This makes your responsibilities even bigger.
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Brazil is the biggest country in Latin America and it is the eighth largest economy in the world.
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It has a lot of points in common with the US.
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Of course, we don't have as strong an economy as the US.
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Brazil also does not have such a great influence on global affairs.
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Anyhow, we have our place in the world and we are happy to be a part of it.
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But, as I said, Brazil and the US have points in common, for example in their history.
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After all, we are Americans in the New World, with all that represents.
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We got our independence in 1822 (eighteen, twenty two).
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You got yours in 1776 (seventeen, seventy six).
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Both country suffered with slavery in the 19th century.
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Both countries received millions of immigrants from all over the world.
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In Brazil we have not only Portuguese but Italians, Japanese, Germans, Lebanese and Spanish.
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Our democracy is not as old as US democracy.
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To be honest we have suffered since our independence several dictatorship.
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The last one ended in 1985 (nineteen, eight five).
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Since then, Brazilian citizens have recovered all their democratic rights and freedoms.
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However, after recovering our democracy, we have still made several mistakes.
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So corruption grew and in time it became widespread, endemic or even systemic.
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Anyway since 2014 a giant investigation under my jurisdiction was started.
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The case is named the Lava Jato Operation.
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Some of these countries received the evidence and are building their own cases.
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Because of that some people say there is an anticorruption wave all over Latin America.
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And to be honest, this may be happening in many, many parts of the world.
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In Brazil, I am just one of many people working on this criminal investigation.
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It is the product of an institutional action by judges, prosecutors and police officers.
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This work has not been easy.
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Old habits of systemic corruption and impunity are hard to overcome.
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There are threats, menaces, risks and attempts at defamation.
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Some criminals and their allies don’t want to change the status quo of bribery and impunity.
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And they are many and they are powerful.
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A poll in April showed that 84 percent of Brazilians want the probe to continue.
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Of course, the systemic corruption uncovered in Brazil is shameful.
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But there is another way to look at this picture.
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There is no shame in the enforcement of the law.
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Not so long ago, corruption and impunity seemed invincible.
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For some it was a kind of natural fate, a tropical disease.
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In truth it is just a product of institutional weakness.
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No country is destined to live with it.
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You can deal with the problem and reduce impunity and corruption.
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You just need the political will to do so.
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I don’t know what will happen with Brazil's future.
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We could suffer setbacks.
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You will start a new stage of your lives.
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Never stop fighting for these values within your community.
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Never give up on demanding virtue and integrity from your government.
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It means that everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law.
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In this meaning it works to protect the most vulnerable.
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But it also means that no one is above the law.
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This is a lesson not only for Brazil but even to mature democracies.
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Allow me to give four short suggestions from my experience.
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First, as I said earlier, never give up on a fight for a good cause.
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Even if you lose, what really matters is what you stand for.
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Third, remember that your behavior can inspire others.
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Fourth, never surrender to the evils of corruption or despair.
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Above all, there is no victory if along the path you lose your soul.
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Now, take a moment and look around you.
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Beside you are your friends.
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You will probably carry these friendships for the rest of your life.
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Real friends are forever.
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Take another moment and look a little bit further.
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They all care for you and you care for all of them.
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Not only for integrity and virtue, but also for the well-being of all.
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We face new challenges in this new century.
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Some say there is a risk of democratic retreat in the world.
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There is still much to be done.
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I hope that you all are successful.
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Commencement Address.
by Notre Dame News.
May 20, 2018.
https://news.nd.edu/news/judge-sergio-moro-2018-commencement-address/

Father John Jenkins, the Board of Trustees of the University of Notre Dame, members of the faculty, professors, staff: Thank you for the opportunity to be here. I am very honored.

To begin, let me congratulate all of you, the newest graduates, the Class of 2018. Graduation from the University of Notre Dame is a tremendous achievement. New challenges wait outside for you all, but this day is for joy and celebration. Congratulations.

I also want to congratulate the parents. It is not easy to raise sons and daughters, to try to teach them by words and example, to save for the costs of education and to hope that everything will somehow work out. So their success on this day is partly your success.

I am a judge in Brazil and - you probably don’t know - I am also a father. My younger child, a boy, is still in school. But my older daughter is attending law school in Brazil. I am proud just of her being there and I can barely imagine how proud I will be on her graduation day. Therefore, fathers and mothers and other relatives, I do have at least an idea about how deep your pride is at this moment. Congratulations.

Allow me to say that when I received the invitation to deliver this commencement speech, it was a great honor, and a challenge also, but it was above all a great surprise.

What does a judge of a Latin American country have to do with a Commencement ceremony of a distinguished university in the United States?

After some reflection, I concluded that after all this is really a small world.

I work on very hard cases involving criminal corruption in Brazil and it is necessary to say that I received great influence from the work of others - not only in Brazil but abroad.

Let me cite, for example, the work of the famous Italian judge Giovanni Falcone. Falcone was a judge in Sicily at a time when the Italian Mafia, the Cosa Nostra, lived with impunity and seemed to be invincible. The bosses were never punished for their crimes. At that time, in the 1980s, the Mafia killed policemen, prosecutors, judges and politicians - they killed even a General of the Italian Army -, anyone who dared to defy them. But with the work of Judge Falcone and his brave colleagues, the Mafia rule was put to an end. In a famous maxi-trial which took almost two years and finished in 1987, 344 Mafioso, including bosses, were finally convicted. The Sicily Mafia still exists but not anymore with the same power they had before. Most important - impunity is no longer the rule.

I remember reading in one of Falcone's books about the admiration he had for United States laws against organized crime and how the Rognoni-La Torre Act, the Italian statute approved in 1982 criminalizing mafia associations, was influenced by the RICO Act. RICO means Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations and it is a US statute approved in 1970.

What makes all this a very small world is that the RICO Act was drafted by a graduate from University of Notre Dame.

George Robert Blakey graduated here in philosophy and afterward in law, finishing his studies in 1960. He later served as a law professor at the University of Notre Dame. Despite his rich academic and public service achievements, his work as one of the main drafters of the RICO Act deserves special emphasis. This statute gave to law enforcement agents the necessary tool to effectively dismantle criminal organizations. It was used, for example, to dismantle the five Mafia families of New York at the end of the last century. It influenced not only the La Torre Act but also similar statutes all around the world.

In my country, Blakey's work influenced Brazilian Act number 12.850 (twelve thousand, eight hundred and fifty), approved in 2013 (two thousand, thirteen), which defined criminal organizations and also gave to Brazilian law enforcement agents the necessary investigative tools to focus on crimes committed by them, including wiretaps or plea agreements with members of organized crime. It had a large impact on corruption cases in the Lava Jato Operation about which I will speak later.

What does all this tell you?

To me, it means that everything is connected in this small world and you could have a reasonable expectation that what you do here in the US, or more specifically at the University of Notre Dame, could have a positive impact abroad, all around the globe. This makes your responsibilities even bigger.

Now, allow me to say something about Brazil and my work there because that is in part the reason for me being here. I think it is possible to extract some general lessons or suggestions for you from what is happening in Brazil.

Brazil is the biggest country in Latin America and it is the eighth largest economy in the world.

It has a lot of points in common with the US.

Of course, we don't have as strong an economy as the US. Brazil also does not have such a great influence on global affairs.

Anyhow, we have our place in the world and we are happy to be a part of it.

But, as I said, Brazil and the US have points in common, for example in their history.

After all, we are Americans in the New World, with all that represents.

We got our independence in 1822 (eighteen, twenty two). You got yours in 1776 (seventeen, seventy six).

Both country suffered with slavery in the 19th century.

Both countries received millions of immigrants from all over the world. In Brazil we have not only Portuguese but Italians, Japanese, Germans, Lebanese and Spanish.

Our democracy is not as old as US democracy. To be honest we have suffered since our independence several dictatorship. The last one ended in 1985 (nineteen, eight five). Since then, Brazilian citizens have recovered all their democratic rights and freedoms.

Since then it is possible to say that we, like you here, have the same dreams of liberty and equality.

However, after recovering our democracy, we have still made several mistakes.

It seems that we in Brazil, as a people, failed to prevent the misuse and abuse of public power for private gain. So corruption grew and in time it became widespread, endemic or even systemic.

Anyway since 2014 a giant investigation under my jurisdiction was started. It is about millions of dollars in bribes paid in public contracts to public officials and high-level politicians. The case is named the Lava Jato Operation. In English, they call it the “Car Wash Operation.”

It is not possible to describe here everything about the case – or to explain exactly why it has such a strange name.

But let me say that different from our past of impunity for grand corruption, this time several powerful criminals are being tried by due process and being held accountable. Nowadays as a result of this investigation more than 157 persons were convicted for bribery and money laundering. Among them there are powerful businessmen and politicians like executives and CEOs of Brazil’s biggest construction companies, executives of Petrobras, which is a Brazilian state owned company, and high-level politicians, like congressmen, a former governor, a former secretary of finance of the federal government, a former speaker of the house and even a former president.

It is interesting to note that it was also discovered that some bribes were also paid by Brazilian companies for public officials and politicians abroad, for example in other Latin America countries. Some of these countries received the evidence and are building their own cases. Because of that some people say there is an anticorruption wave all over Latin America.

And to be honest, this may be happening in many, many parts of the world. We all recently heard news about corruption charges and convictions against the Former President of South Africa and the Former President of South Korea.

In Brazil, I am just one of many people working on this criminal investigation. It is the product of an institutional action by judges, prosecutors and police officers.

This work has not been easy. Old habits of systemic corruption and impunity are hard to overcome.

There are threats, menaces, risks and attempts at defamation. Some criminals and their allies don’t want to change the status quo of bribery and impunity. And they are many and they are powerful.

Despite that, the investigation, the prosecution and the trials are in progress and Brazilian people support them. Since 2015 millions of Brazilians citizens went to the streets to protest against corruption and in support of the Car Wash probe. A poll in April showed that 84 percent of Brazilians want the probe to continue.

Of course, the systemic corruption uncovered in Brazil is shameful. But there is another way to look at this picture. There is no shame in the enforcement of the law. As once said by former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, "The exposure and punishment of public corruption is an honor to a nation, not a disgrace.”

All these efforts are worthy. All Brazilians have an infinite hope that at the end we will have a stronger economy and a democracy with more integrity and with a better overall quality.

In summary, we don't want be known as a kind of bribe nation but as a strong and modern democracy with rule of law.

What the case taught me - not as judge but as a man - is that you should never give up on a fight for a good cause.

Not so long ago, corruption and impunity seemed invincible. For some it was a kind of natural fate, a tropical disease. In truth it is just a product of institutional weakness. No country is destined to live with it. You can deal with the problem and reduce impunity and corruption. You just need the political will to do so.

I don’t know what will happen with Brazil's future. We could suffer setbacks. But I do believe we have given ourselves at least a chance to have a better country. Anyway, I believe that what really matters is what you stand for and fighting for integrity in public life is a worthy cause.

Coming to the last part of my speech, let me say again that you are in a day of joy and celebration. You are graduating from the University of Notre Dame, this distinguished institution. You will start a new stage of your lives. You will be lawyers, judges, physicians, engineers, scientists, astronauts, professors, whatever your wishes and your talents are capable of.

I really hope that you all will be happy in your careers and also in your private lives.

But although it is true that “every person exists as an end in himself,” as Kant, the Königsberg philosopher has said, it is also true that “no man is born for himself,” as Walwyn, one of the Levellers of the old England taught.

Never forget to act with integrity and with virtue in your private and public life. Never stop fighting for these values within your community. Never give up on demanding virtue and integrity from your government.

Never forget the cornerstone of democratic nations, which is the rule of law. It means that everyone is entitled to equal protection of the law. In this meaning it works to protect the most vulnerable. But it also means that no one is above the law. Thomas Fuller, also from old England, once said “Be you never so high, the law is above you.” That is what makes democracies a government by law. This is a lesson not only for Brazil but even to mature democracies.

Democracy starts to fade when citizens turn their backs on public matters, and when citizens stop caring if their government works for the common good or only for special interests.

Allow me to give four short suggestions from my experience. There are not suggestions for future criminal judges, prosecutors or police officers, although some of you could hold an office like that in the future. These are suggestions for citizens concerned for their liberties and rights, including freedom from a corrupted government.

First, as I said earlier, never give up on a fight for a good cause. Even if you lose, what really matters is what you stand for.

Second, always remember that even in the most difficult moments, when it seems that the challenges before you are insurmountable, you will never be alone if you are fighting for a just cause or for justice.

Third, remember that your behavior can inspire others. You will be surprised by how other people could help if they have good examples and receive the right incentives.

Fourth, never surrender to the evils of corruption or despair. Above all, there is no victory if along the path you lose your soul.

Now, take a moment and look around you. Beside you are your friends. You will probably carry these friendships for the rest of your life. Real friends are forever. Take another moment and look a little bit further. There are your parents, your relatives, your professors and also the University personnel. They all care for you and you care for all of them.

But now take a longer moment and think about the larger picture, about the country you live in and the small world that we all live together and share. Beyond the personal pursuit of happiness it is also your duty to care for them. Not only for integrity and virtue, but also for the well-being of all. We face new challenges in this new century. We still live in a world of deep inequality, where not everyone is free or has the necessary minimum to live with dignity.

Some say there is a risk of democratic retreat in the world. I am not sure I believe in this because of the enduring strength of democratic values, freedom and equality. They are at the core of our hearts and minds, and they are celebrated at cherished institutions like the University of Notre Dame. It is incumbent upon all of you to defend our liberties and rights, and to continue the fight for true democracy. There is still much to be done. I hope that you all are successful. Thank you all for your attention, good luck and Godspeed - or as we say in Brazil, “boa sorte e vão com Deus.”