Note from BW of Brazil: As the stances and attitudes of President Bolsonaro continue draw the criticism of Brazilian and international leaders as well as the Brazilian people, various segments are beginning to take actions to address what many deem the irresponsibility of the country’s leaders in the adhering to preventive measures to stop the spread of the pandemic.
The President’s atttitudes that are contrary to recommendations of national and international health organizations can possibly lead to severe consequences. Bolsonaro could in fact be sentenced to up to 30 years in prison if the International Criminal Court (ICC) concludes that he has committed a crime against humanity by contributing to public confusion about the coronavirus. For the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy (ABDJ), the President’s actions and speeches put the entire Brazilian population at risk in the time of a health crisis.
The rejection of Bolsonaro’s attitudes in the face of the crisis are so severe that even the high command of the military is turning against him. The reaction to the President’s ineffective positions have led to the unofficial election of the chief minister of the Civil House, General Walter Braga Netto, as the country’s new “operational president. In fact, there has already been telephonw conversations from a top Brazilian army chief with an equal in Argentina advising that decisions to bypass Bolsonaro’s opinions in all important decisions.
Having become the face of effective positions toward the crisis, the Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta has been at odds with the President’s views since the pandemic began. Mandetta has attempted to avoid open confrontations with the President in order to continue to make recommendations for the Brazilian people during the crisis. He has received the support of Brazil’s Congress and his staff has received positive evaluations of the Brazilian people. With the support of various sectors, Mandetta has made decisions that go in direct opposition to the President.
The situation with this President is pretty serious as even some of his most ardent supporters are beginning to turn against him due to his handling of this crisis. But it’s important at this point to acknowledge that not all Brazilians are against their president. Bolsonaro’s core supporters, referred to as “Bolsonaristas”, remain in his corner. In fact, many of them have begun a campaign of attacking the Minister of Health via social networks. In the middle of this conflict, which must be quite embarrassing for the President to a certain degree, the presidents of Brazil’s Senate and House of Representatives, Bolsonaro have revealed that he had already requested that Mandetta resign from the post.
It will be intriguing to see how Bolsonaro comes out after all of this. Recently, another of his most dedicated supporters, actor Carlos Vereza, announcement that is ending his support of the President. In an announcement via Facebook, the actor wrote:
“I was trying to defend Bolsonaro, not so much for him, but for the normality of the institutions. But he publicly disallowed the health minister out of jealousy, it doesn’t work anymore”
Needless to say, this is big news and speaks volumes for how the country is reacting to its leader. And as can be expected, voices of the black community are also at odds with Brazilian leader, with one newly formed group of influential voices denouncing a recent nationally televised speech made by the President that garnered more rejection than support by the general population. As we have seen in recent pieces (here and here), the consequences of proper actions not being implemented to contain the coronavirus could be far more severe for black and poor communities.
Black Coalition and lawyers denounce Bolsonaro after pronouncement on national network
The crime notice was presented to the Attorney General Augusto Aras and denounces that the president is inciting a crime of infraction against a sanitary measure
Courtesy of the Alma Preta newsroom
On Thursday (26), the Coalizão Negra por Direitos e o Coletivo de Advocacia em Direitos Humanos (Black Coalition for Rights and the Human Rights Advocacy Collective) (CADHu) presented a crime report against the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro. The groups argue that the official statement made on national television this Tuesday (24) encourages the population to fail to comply with sanitary measures aimed at combating Covid-19, the new coronavirus.
According to the document, Bolsonaro’s speech to the population does not comply with the determination of Interministerial Ordinance No. 5, published on the 17th, on the “compulsory nature of measures to cope with the emergency of Covid-19”, such as isolation and quarantine, provided for in art. 3, of Law 13.979/2020. In claiming the return to “normality”, Bolsonaro’s statement can be characterized as inciting the crime of infraction of a preventive health measure.
The complaint against the president has as its greatest concern the defense of the black and peripheral community, explains Sheila de Carvalho, lawyer for the Coalizão Negra por Direitos (Black Coalition for Rights). “These are the people who most depend on the public health system and they will be the most affected in an imminent collapse of that system, which can occur more quickly from the criminal act carried out by Jair Bolsonaro” she says.
In Brazil, the first case of contamination by coronavirus was confirmed on February 26. On Wednesday (25), the Ministry of Health had confirmed 2,433 cases and 57 deaths.
The crime notice was presented to the Attorney General of the Republic, Augusto Aras, responsible for bringing criminal complaints against the president to the Supreme Federal Court (STF).
For criminal lawyer Davi Tangerino, from the Human Rights Advocacy Collective, the president gives signals contrary to the determinations of his Minister of Health, encouraging actions contrary to sanitary determinations, in addition to using his wide-reaching social networks for this.
“It is up to the Attorney General of the Republic to assess whether the figure of incitement to crime is present. The Judiciary can and should impose limits on presidential actions, when contradicting its constitutional role. That is what the CADHu and the Black Coalition for Rights demand”, he said.