Protests against President Jair Bolsanaro spread across Brazil on Saturday, a day after the federal Supreme Court approved a criminal investigation into his response to allegations of corruption in a deal to buy corona virus vaccines.
Hundreds or thousands of protesters gathered in more than 40 cities across the country to demand a political investigation into the president or to increase access to vaccines against COVID-19.
Read the banner held by a man in Belem, the capital of Barre State, saying, “If we keep a minute of silence for every person killed by the COVID, we will remain silent until June 2022.” According to official data, more than half a million Brazilians have died from COVID-19.
In her ruling on Friday, Federal Supreme Court Judge Rosa Weber noted that the investigation is supported by a recent report by the Senate Commission of Inquiry into the government’s handling of the Govt-19 epidemic.
Prosecutors will investigate whether Bolzano committed a crime of “forethought” that includes delaying or waiving an action required as part of a public officer’s duty for reasons of personal interest. Weber did not rule out the possibility of prosecuting other possible crimes.
Luis Ricardo Miranda, head of the import division of the Ministry of Health, launched the probe after it was revealed that he was under undue pressure to approve the import of 20 million vaccines from Indian biotech company Bharat Biotech. He said there were irregularities in the invoice and that he was paying $ 45 million in advance, especially to a Singaporean company.
Miranda testified before the Senate committee on June 25 with her brother, Luis Miranda, a legislator who was recently an associate of Bolzano. Mirandas said they expressed their concerns directly to Bolzano, who promised to report the abuse to federal police.
However, the Federal Police did not receive any request for an investigation, a company with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press. The person spoke anonymously as he did not have the authority to do so in public.
Onyx Lorenzoni, the secretary-general of the presidency, confirmed that Bolzano had met with Miranda, but they presented false documents. Lorenzoni added that Bolzano had ordered the brothers to be interrogated.
Bharat has denied any wrongdoing related to the provision of vaccines. Bolzano denied that he had committed any crime or had any knowledge of corruption, and told reporters on June 28 that he could not find out what was going on in all his ministries.
Supreme Court ruling authorizing the trial in response to a request from three senators. Most of the senators of the Commission of Inquiry would have previously voted to recommend Andrei, after the trial, to impose charges against Bolsanaro, which carries a maximum sentence of three months to one year in prison and a fine. .
At a rally in Rio de Janeiro, 63-year-old Terezinha Sanata said the government was abusing issues related to violence, the environment and civil rights.
“This is more than indifference to the epidemic issue,” stressed Sanata, who has long complained about the slowdown in the vaccine campaign and the severity of the disease.