Brazilian Politics

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On Sunday morning also, there was a data leak of outdated HR information collected until October 23rd.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

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Needing support in Congress, Bolsonaro restores Ministry of Communications
Fábio Faria
Fábio Faria Credit: Billy Boss/Câmara dos Deputados

The Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro announced Wednesday on his Facebook account he has decided to recreate the Ministry of Communications, that had been closed in 2016. In this new configuration, the ministry will control the government’s €24 million advertising budget and the distribution of radio and tv broadcast licenses.

The head of the new ministry will be Fabio Faria of the Social Democratic Party (PSD) party and also a son-in-law of the owner of Brazil’s third-largest television network.

Bolsonaro has approached the PSD as part of a strategy to build sufficient support in Congress to block any of two dozen pending requests to impeach him.

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Rio Janeiro State Governor to face impeachment inquiry
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel
Rio de Janeiro Governor Wilson Witzel Credit: Carlos Magno

The Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro (Alerj) voted today favourably to initiate impeachment proceedings against right-wing Governor Wilson Witzel. Before today's vote the Assembly had 12 distinct impeachment petitions, for the process all of them will be combined.

A few weeks ago Brazilian federal police raided the residences of the Governor, under the allegation Witzel and his wife Helena led a sprawling criminal operation in which her law firm was used to receive payment from a company that won state coronavirus contracts.

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Brazil: Jair Bolsonaro threatens to pull out of WHO
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meets evangelical leaders
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro meets evangelical leaders Credit: Isac Nóbrega/PR

President Jair Bolsonaro threatened on Friday to follow the US and pull Brazil out of the World Health Organization. The thread follows a warning from the U.N. agency to Latin American governments about the risk of lifting lockdowns before slowing the spread of the coronavirus throughout the region.

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Former president of Brazil calls for impeachment of Bolsonaro
Luis Inácio Lula da Silva
Luis Inácio Lula da Silva Credit: Ricardo Stuckert

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the former president of Brazil, has publicly called for the impeachment of current president Jair Bolsonaro. In a call with CNN from his self-quarantine at home after he recently got out of jail, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva criticized how Bolsonaro handles the Covid-19 pandemic as well as the economic collapse of the country.

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Brazil House Speaker says he will decide on Bolsonaro's impeachment at 'appropriate time'
Interview with Rodrigo Maia (right)
Interview with Rodrigo Maia (right) Credit: UOL (Reproduction)

During an interview this Monday the speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress, Rodrigo Maia, stated that he would decide whether to open impeachment proceedings against President Jair Bolsonaro at "the appropriate time." and "with care."

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Brazil: Police disperse anti-Bolsonaro protesters in São Paulo
Anti-Bolsonaro protesters
Anti-Bolsonaro protesters Credit: Pam Santos

São Paulo state police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators in Brazil’s largest city on Sunday as groups protesting and supporting President Jair Bolsonaro neared a clash.

The demonstration by several hundred black-clad members was the largest anti-Bolsonaro street protest since the Covid-19 pandemic started and organised by fan clubs of soccer clubs Corinthians, São Paulo and Palmeiras.

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Brazilian president criticise Supreme Court investigation of allies for alleged fake news
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Credit: Marcos Corrêa/PR

President Jair Bolsonaro stated on Thursday that a Brazil's Supreme Court investigation into a fake news network was actually aimed at silencing his social media support.

Brazil's Federal Police on Wednesday executed more than two dozen searches and seizure warrants in six states as part of an investigation into a network that allegedly spread defamatory fake news and threats against Supreme Court justices.