The Brazilian Scene – XIII

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By BENICIO VIERO SCHMIDT*

Comments on recent events.

The Covid-19 CPI continues in the Senate, and responsibilities are always assigned to the other. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Ernesto Araújo blamed Eduardo Pazuello. He blames the set of measures he found at the Ministry of Health, when he was enthroned as minister, and also at the government of the state of Amazonas. It remains to say what Senator Tasso Jereissati said after Araújo and Pazuello's testimonies: “If this is true, I no longer know what reality is”.

General Pazuello, former Minister of Health, is a partner in many companies that operate in the economy of the Amazon, especially in the area of ​​riverside transport. When he declares interest in representing the state of Amazonas in the next legislature, it generates a complicated public and private overlap. This pretension is not only due to his training in the Amazon territory, but to the defense of personal economic interests.

In the Latin American context, the highlights are the election of the National Constituent Assembly in Chile and the revolt in Colombia. In the election in Chile, representatives of the left and independents obtained the majority of votes. Thus, it was blocking the conservative bloc's purpose of barring changes to the Constitution, since it was unable to reach enough votes to elect a third of the representatives. The revolts in Colombia, the great systemic crisis that permeates its territory, are the result of unpopular intolerance with the levels of taxation and the poor performance of the government.

In both cases, the signs and symptoms of a long-term crisis are noticeable. These are countries where interest costs more than funding the public machine or where pensions are monopolized by private capital, as is the specific case of Chile. These revolts indicate that there is rebellion in Latin America. Its outcome is not known, but it is known that the masses and populations are not happy. This is despite the relatively low turnout of Chileans, around 43%, for the elections.

On Monday, May 17, the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) of the Chamber of Deputies read the opinion on the administrative reform of the Brazilian State, drawn up by Deputy Darci de Matos (PSD-SC). . A request for view moved the admissibility vote to the next week. Two constitutional restrictions were removed from the report. One, it allowed civil servants to have the right to simultaneously exercise other activities, such as partners in private companies. The other opened the possibility of extinguishing autarchies by administrative decree of the federal government. Thus, the requirement remains that autarchies such as, for example, IBAMA, INSS and others, can only be amended based on specific bills.

Also noteworthy is the recent support package for truck drivers, where the influence of the electoral campaign agenda can already be seen. President Jair M. Bolsonaro is very nervous because of the electoral scenario that is unfavorable to him. He makes unreasonable concessions to truck drivers, including the very serious concession of licensing for the normal use of means of transport. Institutions are denied the possibility of interfering with means of transport. It hinders and postpones inspection by the Federal Highway Police. This is a dangerous measure, as it will allow the release of possible acts and infractions by truck drivers.

The recent search and seizure by the Federal Police of documents on properties owned by employees of the Ministry of the Environment and Ricardo Salles himself was due to the presumption of crime on the part of those responsible for exporting wood. With this, there is yet another national and international pressure against the devastation of the environment sponsored by wood smugglers and invaders for the planting of soy and the expansion of livestock, especially in the Amazon and in the Pantanal.

*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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