Brazilian Politics

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Jair Bolsonaro to replace military chiefs
Jair Bolsonaro to replace military chiefs
Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR (Public Domain)

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will replace the commanders of the country's army, navy and air force, the defense ministry said Tuesday. Some local media, including the Folha de Sao Paulo daily, reported that the military chiefs had quit in protest at the unexpected ministerial reshuffle. The president named Carlos Alberto Franco Franca as the new foreign minister after Araujo tendered his resignation earlier in the day.

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Brazilian Foreign Policy Ministry Ernesto Araújo resigns
Ernesto Araújo (left) with Jair Bolsonaro
Ernesto Araújo (left) with Jair Bolsonaro Credit: Palácio do Planalto (Public Domain)

The polemic Brazilian Foreign Policy Ministry Ernesto Araújo presented his resignation Monday to the President Jair Bolsonaro.

In the Brazilian Congress, the assessment is that the minister's performance isolated Brazil in the international scenario and hindered the obtaining of vaccine doses against Covid-19.

Mr. Araújo adopted in his administration the same principles as the foreign policy of former US President Donald Trump. This stance generated friction with important trading partners, such as China, the main destination for Brazilian exports, as well as the largest producer of vaccine supplies in the world.

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Brazilian Supreme Court rules that former President Lula da Silva did not receive a fair trial
Former Judge Sérgio Moro
Former Judge Sérgio Moro Credit: Partido dos Trabalhadores (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

By 3 votes to 2, the Second Panel of the Brazilian Supreme Court declared in a trial that former federal judge Sergio Moro acted with partiality in sentencing former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the case of the triplex of Guaruja.
The Supreme Court decision nullifies the triplex case, which will need to start over.

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Brazil: Bolsonaro announces Marcelo Queiroga as new health minister
Brazil: Bolsonaro announces Marcelo Queiroga as new health minister
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

President Jair Bolsonaro announced on Monday evening that Dr Marcelo Queiroga will be the new Minister of Health, replacing Eduardo Pazuello. The exchange takes place at the worst moment of the covid-19 pandemic in Brazil, with records of daily deaths and health systems in several collapsing states. Queiroga will be the fourth Minister of Health since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago.

Bolsonaro announced the new Minister during a conversation with supporters at the door of the Palácio da Alvorada.

Last year, Pazuello's predecessors, doctors Luiz Henrique Mandetta and Nelson Teich, left office because they disagreed with Bolsonaro's policy on treating the pandemic.

On Monday afternoon, Pazuello held a press conference to announce the purchase of 138 million doses of vaccine against covid-19 and confirmed that the president was in talks to replace him in the post.

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Brazilian Supreme Courts cancelled all convictions of former President Lula
Lula Credit: PT - Partido dos Trabalhadores (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Justice Edson Fachin of the Federal Supreme Court overturned on Monday 8 all the condemnations imposed on former President Lula during the Operation Car Wash (Operação Lava Jato). According to Fachin, the Federal Justice of Paraná, responsible for the convictions at first instance, is incompetent to judge the Guarujá triplex, the Atibaia site and the Lula Institute cases.

In 2017, the then judge Sergio Moro sentenced Lula to 9 years and 6 months in prison for passive corruption and money laundering in the case of a triplex flat. Lula, however, denies that he benefited from the flat and is trying to prove in court the suspicion of Moro - who a few years later became Minister of Justice and Public Safety in the government of Jair Bolsonaro.

With the decision, the cases will be analyzed by the Federal Court of the Federal District, which will have the autonomy to decide whether to maintain the convictions already imposed or send the cases to the criminal investigation stage.

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Bolsonaro tells Brazilians to 'stop whining' as Covid-19 deaths spike
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro criticized social isolation measures after the country recorded more than 1,900 Covid-19 deaths in 24 hours. Bolsonaro has told Brazilians to "stop whining" and asked, "You will be crying until when?" The president further called those pushing for more vaccines "idiots".

Brazil is facing its worst phase of the pandemic yet, leaving its health system in crisis, and, in response, some cities and states have imposed their own restrictions.

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Brazilian markets rattled by Bolsonaro's removal of Petrobras chief
Petrobras horizontal logo, international version
Petrobras horizontal logo, international version Credit: Petrobras - Petróleo Brasileiro S.A.

Brazilian markets plunged on Monday after President Jair Bolsonaro removed the head of state-controlled oil company, the latest sign that his government is rolling back market-friendly policy initiatives to shore up his sinking popularity.

Bolsonaro's decision on Friday to replace the University of Chicago-educated economist at the helm of Petroleo Brasileiro SA after a feud over fuel prices surprised even his inner political circle, according to two government officials familiar with the episode.

Bolsonaro's popularity is dropping to near record lows after a program of cash handouts expired in December, with an MDA poll published Monday showing his approval rating fell 8 percentage points to 32.9% over the past four months.

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Rio de Janeiro's mayor Marcelo Crivella arrested over bribery allegations
Rio de Janeiro's mayor Marcelo Crivella arrested over bribery allegations
Credit: Palácio do Planalto / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Marcelo Crivella, was arrested this morning in a joint operation by the MP-RJ (Rio de Janeiro Public Prosecutor's Office) and the Civil Police.

The action that led to Crivella's arrest is an unfolding of Operation Hades, launched in March, which investigates a supposed bribe payment scheme for the release of contracts from Rio's City Hall, called the "HQ of the Bribe".

Crivella gave a quick statement to journalists. "I was the mayor who most fought corruption in Rio de Janeiro's City Hall," he said, adding that he now expects "justice."

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Brazil: São Paulo Governor announces immunizations against Covid-19 to start in January
João Doria
João Doria Credit: Governo do Estado de São Paulo (Public Domain)

The São Paulo state Governor, João Dória, announced Thursday the immunizations against Covid-19 would start in January using the Coronavac vaccine, from the Chinese company Sinovac. A day before of São Paulo's announcement the Brazilian Ministry of Health announced a country-wide immunization would start only in March.

"In São Paulo, responsibly, following the law, next January, following the protocol with Anvisa and obeying the principles of life protection, we will start immunizing Brazilians in São Paulo. We will not wait until March" said Doria.

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Brazilian investigators point to coordinated hacker attacks in the latest regional elections
Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) building, in Brasilia
Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) building, in Brasilia Credit: Roberto Jayme/Ascom/TSE (Public Domain)

On Sunday, during the city elections, the Brazilian Superior Electoral Court (TSE) has suffered outages (DDOS attack) that delayed the votes counting procedures. An investigation from the Brazilian Federal Public Minister, together with SaferNet declared that TSE has sufferered a coordinated attack and social network campaign to promote a non-existent elections fraud.

On Sunday morning also, there was a data leak of outdated HR information collected until October 23rd.

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Jair Bolsonaro loses interest in re-election after Trump's defeat
Jair Bolsonaro
Jair Bolsonaro

Following Trump's defeat, Jair Bolsonaro broke his silence to announce that he might not run for re-election because "there is an advance from the left" in South America.

“See how the world is. In South America, there are several countries again painted in red. Many times, the President has no way to change, as I would like to happen, the destiny of Brazil. Some people want the destination to be another, and they may be right," Bolsonaro said on Facebook.

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Brazil: Mourão contradicts Bolsonaro and says the federal government will buy Chinese vaccine
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão
Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourão Credit: Bruno Batista /VPR

Contradicting the President Jair Bolsonaro, Vice President Hamilton Mourão stated the country will “of course” buy a Chinese Covid-19 vaccine that is being tested in the country. In an interview to the Veja magazine, the Brazilian vice president reduced the controversy over the "Chinese vaccine" to a political fight between Bolsonaro and the governor of Sao Paulo, João Doria (PSDB).

On Wednesday, October 28, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) authorised the import of raw material for the Butantan Institute to produce 40 million doses of CoronaVac.

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Brazilian senator Chico Rodrigues is caught with cash hidden between the buttocks
Chico Rodrigues
Chico Rodrigues Credit: Agência Senado (Public Domain)

Chico Rodrigues, Jair Bolsonaro's deputy leader in the senate, was caught by the Brazilian Federal Police with R$30,000 (€4,572) concealed between his clenched buttocks. The police raid Wednesday was part of an operation against the misappropriation of public funds for fighting Covid-19.

Rodrigues, a Senator for the state of Roraima, released a statement claiming "I have a clean background and a respectable life. I’ve never been involved in any kind of scandal."

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Jair Bolsonaro leaves hospital after bladder stone surgery
Jair Bolsonaro, after the surgery
Jair Bolsonaro, after the surgery

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro left the Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo after a surgery to remove a bladder stone. The surgery was scheduled for Friday morning.

During an interview to CNN, Bolsonaro said: "Why did I operate on a Friday? Not to lose 2 or 3 working days. I have a lot of work. That's why I thought it was better to have the surgery over the weekend."

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Court removes Governor of Rio de Janeiro Witzel from office for suspected irregularities
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel Credit: Philippe Lima

The Brazilian Superior Court of Justice (STJ) determined Friday the immediate removal of Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel from the post due to irregularities in health contracts. Witzel is also prohibited access to state government facilities and his communication with officials and use of services.

The governor and eight other people, including the First Lady Helena Witzel, were also denounced by the Attorney General's Office for corruption.

Witzel tweeted "The defence of Governor Wilson Witzel receives with great surprise the decision to step down, taken in a monocratic manner and with such seriousness. The lawyers are awaiting access to the content of the decision to take the appropriate measures."

Brazil: Congresswoman charged with murder of husband who previously had been adopted by her and then became her son-in-law
Flordelis de Souza
Flordelis de Souza Credit: Fernando Frazão Ag.Brasil

The Brazilian congresswoman and evangelical leader Flordelis de Souza was charged Monday with ordering the execution of her husband Anderson do Carmo in June 2019. Do Carmo was shot more than 30 times, by Flordelis' biological son Flávio dos Santos.

In a message exchange with her son, Souza stated she could not get a divorce from her husband because that would "scandalize the name of God".

According to the police, the congresswoman has been trying to kill her husband since May 2018. Multiple times she put arsenic in his food.

Before marrying the congresswoman, Anderson do Carmo was adopted by her, then became her son-in-law while he was in a relationship with her biological daughter Simone.

Police said Souza’s motive was "a struggle for power and her financial emancipation."

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Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Bolsonaro to a journalist: "My wish is to punch you in the mouth"
Credit: Alan Santos/PR (Public Domain)

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Sunday to a journalist that his "wish is to punch you in the mouth".

Bolsonaro stated after being questioned by the "O Globo" newspaper reporter about money transferred by an ally to the First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

The money transfers, by Flávio Bolsonaro's former adviser Fabrício Queiroz, to Michelle Bolsonaro were made from 2011 and 2016 and totalled R$72,000. Queiroz's wife transfered another R$17,000 to the first lady in 2011.

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Brazil: Federal Police investigated Sleeping Giants without reasonable justification
Brazil: Federal Police investigated Sleeping Giants without reasonable justification
Credit: Sleeping Giants Brasil

On May 25th, the Brazilian Federal Police in Paraná state opened an investigation. It was one week after the Brazilian version of Sleeping Giants created the twitter account. The anonymous group tries to tackle the foundings of extreme rights accounts and portals, by exposing the advertisements and reaching the companies on social media who paid for the ads.

The responsible for the investigation (Ricardo Filippi Pecoraro) requested access to names and addresses of the account, this could be possible if there are the reasonable justification of any kind of criminal activity. There was none, and the case was closed in July.

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Facebook removes accounts linked to Bolsonaro's family
Screenshot of a post by one of the accounts
Screenshot of a post by one of the accounts Credit: Facebook Reproduction

Facebook announced Wednesday the removal of 35 accounts, 14 Pages, 1 Group and 38 Instagram accounts that were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior in Brazil. Although the people behind this activity attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, Facebook investigation found links to individuals associated with the Social Liberal Party and some of the employees of the offices of Anderson Moraes, Alana Passos, Eduardo Bolsonaro, Flavio Bolsonaro and Jair Bolsonaro.

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Brazil's Education Minister steps down
Abraham Weintraub, former Education Minister
Abraham Weintraub, former Education Minister Credit: Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Brazilian Education Minister Abraham Weintraub on Thursday announced he was stepping down to take a role at the World Bank.

Weintraub, a fervent ideological defender of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, made his announcement in a short video posted to his Twitter page, reading from a prepared statement and then hugging the president.

In recent days Brazilian news sources speculated Weintraub was about to be fired, particularly after his comments about the Supreme Court. The court is currently overseeing a series of potentially explosive investigations involving Bolsonaro and his inner circle, and tension has soared between the president and its justices.