The Brazilian Scene – VI

Clara Figueiredo, blind goat, digital photomontage, 2020
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By BENICIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events

First, it should be noted that the health situation in the country is dramatic. It has been evaluated by the international press, especially the North American one, as a danger not only for Brazil and Latin America, but for the world, due to possible mutations and variants of the strains found in Manaus. Brazil is on the way to becoming a case of international scandal if it does not take drastic measures.

In this sense, it is important to remember that the National Congress assumed the articulation – together with governors and in front of the mayors – for the administration of the vaccination process on a national scale. Curiously and contradictorily, this is a general request, supported by the current Minister of Health, General Pazuello. A measure that obviously collides with the militant and aggressive propaganda of the Presidency of the Republic against social distancing, the use of masks and the public vaccination campaign itself.

Before the monocratic decision of the Minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) Edson Fachin, at the end of last week, it was published in the newspaper The State of S. Paul, the results of an IBEC survey. It shows former president Lula with the preference of potential votes over the nine other candidates remembered by the poll. This indicates, at the very least, that people who claim they could vote for Lula want a change of government.

By granting the Habeas Corpus filed by Lula's defense on November 3, 2020, annulling Lula's convictions under the Lava Jato operation, Judge Edson Fachin makes it possible for the former president to return to the political game. From a legal point of view, the act means nothing more than the transfer of actions from the thirteenth court of justice in Curitiba to the Federal Court based in Brasília. Politically, it means a strengthening of Lula's forces with the launch of his name on the market for the 2022 election.

Regardless of the specific legal consequences of the issue, it should be noted that in a way Fachin's monocratic decision exempts Minister Moro from responsibility in the processes that will be transferred to Brasília. From this point of view, Fachin's sentence seeks to maintain the other results of the Lava Jato operation.

Brazil has just been condemned by the Inter-American Committee on Human Rights for its treatment of indigenous peoples, for the sexism of its anti-abortion policy, and for its human rights policy in general. Particularly noteworthy was the deconstitutionalization of important councils of the Republic, including the Food Security Council, headquartered in the Presidency's office, which is practically relegated to the flies. Yet another condemnation of Brazil in the international sphere, intensifying the corrosion of the image of Brazilian authorities in the world context.

In this sense, the trip of the committee of Brazilian parliamentarians and other authorities to the territory of Israel constitutes a new embarrassment, with the repeated warnings to the Brazilian delegation about the need to use masks and maintain social distance. In addition, they were not received at the hospital where the nasal solution for the fight against Covid-19 is being tested. The meeting was transferred to the hotel where the Brazilian delegation is staying. Another political wear with international repercussions.

Finally, it is worth remembering that the emergency PEC must be examined in the Chamber of Deputies this Wednesday, the 09th. The expectation is that the majority of parliamentarians approve it in two successive rounds on the same day. The emergency PEC, in addition to aid in installments of 250 reais provided for informal workers and others affected by the crisis, contains some triggers that can greatly harm the public service itself in the executive sphere.

*Benicio Viero Schmidt is a retired professor of sociology at UnB. Author, among other books, of The State and urban policy in Brazil (LP&M).

 

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