'The Mechanism' on Netflix: What's the True Story Behind It?

The story is mostly fictional, but the scandal itself is not.

Netflix sure loves it’s “based on real events” crime dramas, and its latest, The Mechanism, promises to expose the biggest corruption scandal ever, but what’s the real “true story” here?

Much like the creators’ previous project, Narcos, The Mechanism offers a dramatized retelling of supposedly true events, but instead of the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar, we get an investigation into a corruption scandal in private and state oil and construction companies in Brazil. Most call it “Operation Car Wash.”

Actor Selton Mello stars as a retired federal police deputy and Caroline Abras plays his mentee, an ambitious federal agent. The many character names are allegedly fictional, so don’t expect the story told to match up to reality.

The official trailer released Thursday, and the plot feels a lot a more contemporary version of The Wire set in Brazil mixed with Narcos, which is sure to pique the interest of plenty viewers:

Article continues below

The real-life case began as an investigation into simpler money laundering but blossomed as it exposed of corruption at the state-controlled oil company Petrobras. The investigation began in March 2014 as it targeted doleiros — black market money dealers — that used small businesses (like car washes) to launder money made from criminal enterprises.

“Lavo jato” literally means “car wash,” which is where the popularized name for the scandal comes from. As the investigation blossomed, it became apparent that oil company executives were taking bribes in exchange for awarding contracts to construction firms at inflated prices — for things like refineries, tankers, and drilling platforms.

Selton Mello’s character targets a kingpin of sorts whose name is something like Puberto Abraham. “He started smuggling goods,” the character explains in the trailer, “but made a name for himself with money laundering.” He’s almost certainly based on Alberto Youssef, one of the principal players in the whole scandal.

When The Mechanism calls lavo jato the “biggest corruption scandal” ever, they mean it.

Estimates say the real-life scandal has laundered something to the tune of $9.5 billion USD to date amongst the many operations. The network for doing so was damn near impenetrable, especially considering it involved an intricate network of high-profile politicians and corporate businessmen.

Specific plot details remain somewhat scarce for the show, but chances are it will follow the ongoing investigation as closely as it can without getting too close to the truth.

The Mechanism will be released by Netflix on March 23, 2018.

Media via Netflix (1, 2)

Rifts haven’t been prominent in the world of Fortnite: Battle Royale for quite some time now, but they’re still around if you know where to look for them. Now, a new Week 7 challenge that requires players to “use a Rift or Rift-to-Go in different matches” will have you doing just that. If you’re wary of these inter-dimensional wormholes, you’ll be pleased to know that players only have to do this three times, making this one pretty easy.

Now that we’ve reached Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 7, Week 7, the mysterious Expedition Outposts have once again become the focus of a new challenge.

Week 7 began Thursday morning, and none of the new challenges are all that creative or unique, but one that players definitely need a map for is “Visit all Expedition Outposts.” On the plus side, the new challenge does confirm reports from earlier this season that there are only seven of them.

Everyone’s talking about the newest Game of Thrones teaser trailer, which revealed the Season 8 premiere date and focused on the truth about Jon Snow’s identity. However, it’s not just who’s seen and heard in the teaser but who isn’t, and they may play a role in Jon finally learning who his parents really are.

Now that we’re less than a year away from the release of Star Wars: Episode IX, an interview with any of the Star Wars actors will be dissected and analyzed by pundits and fans. And although 2019 is barely underway, the first clue has already arrived. Adam Driver recently revealed he seemingly knows how Kylo Ren’s story ends. More importantly, he’s known it for a long-ass time.