Josh, from our Facebook community, asked a good question: “What does ‘livrar a cara’ mean?”
Lately this expression has been very present in news articles about Brazilian politics. Everyone in Brazil is now discussing the newest huge corruption scandal: CPI do Cachoeira.
CPI means Comissão Parlamentar de Inquérito = Parlamentary Commision of Investigation. When there is denouncement of illegal and corrupt practices by politicians, the Legislative Power turns into a CPI to investigate the facts, establish the truth, and punish the guilty parts if that is the case. The problem is that the investigation is also performed and judged by politicians. And apparently this guy Cachoeira, the culprit of the current CPI do Cachoeira, had suspicious relationships with just too many politicians currently in office in Brazil.
As the investigation begins to seriously expose members of every political party, we see the process being watered down as many of the accused politicians are “judged” innocent.
Here is where the expression “livrar a cara” applies. Let me offer you a couple of situations to explain what livrar a cara means.
Say you forget your boyfriend or girlfriend waiting for you for two hours. When you get there, she/he is very upset. You then say that you had to attend to an emergency to help a friend. It is not true. You just said that to livrar a cara and be forgiven by that person. If your friend then confirms your lie, he is doing so to livrar a cara of his friend.
In the current CPI do Cachoeira, members of a certain political party are making agreements among themselves and with other politicians to prevent a key politician from their party from being required to testify in the investigation. They are doing this to protect that politician and the party as a whole. They are trying to livrar a cara of that politician and their own cara (=face).
- Livrar a cara = to exempt from guilt, most commonly used with a negative connotation as in the examples above. Literally, to free the face
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