Bolsonaro, President corroded | page 12

The report read by opposition senator Renan Calheiros last Wednesday closed the stage of work of the Parliamentary Investigations Commission (CPI) dedicated to examining, in the Senate, who is responsible for the most lethal health crisis experienced by the country, the Covid-19 pandemic, which caused at least 606,000 deaths.

The text will be voted on next Tuesday, and as the opposition to the government occupies seven of the eleven seats in the ICC, it will be approved. Then, it will be directed to various instances of Justice.

A double stage will then begin. On the one hand, the ICC will try to get both the Attorney General’s Office to order the opening of an investigation and for the Supreme Federal Court to rule. And on the other, both the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro and the other denounced, among whom are businessmen, doctors, officials and activists in digital channels, will try to annul the process.

In any case, the first impact is already palpable and reverberates strongly from the moment that Senator Calheiros finished reading the summary of his report.

Over 28 minutes, complaints of nine crimes committed by Jair Bolsonaro were heard. It is the first time in Brazilian history that a president was the target of requests for criminal complaints that included murder by the National Congress.

Accusations of being responsible for “epidemic resulting in death; violation of preventive sanitary measure; irregular use of public budget; incitement to crime; falsification of private documents; quackery; misuse of public resources; crime against humanity; crime of responsibility ”.

In addition to the president and three of his children – Flavio, national senator; Eduardo, state deputy; and Carlos, councilor – four ministers were denounced (including Defense, retired General Walter Braga Netto), two former ministers (including active general Eduardo Pazuello, former Minister of Health), as well as businessmen, parliamentarians, former officials of different ministries, in a total of 66 people.

Over the course of five months, the ICC sessions were broadcast live on Senate television, which had never reached such an audience. The impact of reading the final report was immediate.

Bolsonaro suffers from a strong corrosion of his image, his popular acceptance is crumbling in a palpable way, but he continues to have the approval of between 20 and 25 percent of those interviewed in opinion polls. In addition, its “hard core” of more radical supporters is considered to remain untouched by around 12 percent of the electorate.

Faced with these data, the most negative of a president about to serve three years in office since the resumption of democracy in 1985, after 21 years of dictatorship, which his closest team tries to show as positive, grows palpably the rejection of his government, now with the worsening of the economic crisis that reproduces every day and at shocking speed images of misery throughout the country.

It is not known, in any case, what will happen, in addition to the popular reaction, in concrete terms, after the approval, next week, of the devastating ICC report.

According to Brazilian legislation, both the president and the acting ministers enjoy a “privileged forum”, that is, a margin of immunity, and can only be legally denounced (and after the opening of their own investigations) by the Attorney General’s Office. Republic, which then decides whether or not to refer the case to the Supreme Federal Court.

The other way is for the Attorney General’s Office to decide to file the case directly, without opening any investigation.

The stakes in political media and among Brazilian analysts is that this is precisely the option of the current Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, appointed by Bolsonaro and declared a candidate for a position in the Supreme Federal Court.

With the exception of the Senate, which continues to offer some resistance to the ultra-rightist government, Bolsonaro literally bought support in the Chamber of Deputies (he opened a “secret budget” of around almost three billion dollars that parliamentarians can send to their electoral corners without having to account to anyone). And he appointed as Attorney-General someone who does not miss the opportunity to show signs of deep loyalty not to what the Constitution and the laws say, but to whoever elevated him to the position he occupies.

In any case, and although he manages to escape legally, together with the business community, political parties and public opinion, Bolsonaro’s wear is fierce. And it spread, as it turned out, to the main foreign media.

Even if he survives the barrage of complaints, Bolsonaro will surely emerge more corroded than he already is. And everything indicates that, with that, he will move further and further away from the long-dreamed re-election in 2022.