Amnestying Jair Bolsonaro?

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By LISZT VIEIRA*

A movement of Bolsonarist politicians has already begun to grant amnesty to Jair Bolsonaro, his children and his entire gang

During long years as a deputy, and also as president, Captain Jair Bolsonaro preached, loud and clear, the need for a coup to implant a neo-fascist military dictatorship in Brazil. He even tried, without success, a coup on September 7, 2021. He always had the support of more than six thousand military personnel in official positions in the Government: according to a TCU survey, carried out in 2021, 6.175 members of the Armed Forces were occupying government positions in 2020.

Several generals were at the forefront of this offensive to destroy democracy, such as, among others, Luiz Eduardo Ramos, Augusto Villas Boas, Braga Netto, Eduardo Pazuello, and the Minister of Defense himself, Paulo Sergio de Oliveira, in addition to admirals and brigadiers at the head of their arms.

In his four years in office, Jair Bolsonaro committed dozens of crimes. Below is the list of crimes for which he was indicted in the Pandemic CPI report.

“Crimes of the President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro: prevarication; quackery; epidemic resulting in death; violation of preventive health measures; irregular use of public funds; incitement to crime; falsification of private documents; crimes of responsibility (violation of social law and incompatibility with dignity, honor and decorum of the position); crimes against humanity (in the form of extermination, persecution and other inhumane acts)” (Source: Agência Senado).

The super impeachment request of Jair Bolsonaro, filed on 30/06/2021 in the Chamber of Deputies, states that the president committed at least 21 crimes described in Law nº 1.079/1950 (Impeachment Law). Are they:

(1) Crime against the political existence of the Union. Act: fomenting conflict with other nations; (2) Hostility against foreign nation. Act: xenophobic statements to doctors in Cuba; (3) Crime against the free exercise of Powers. Act: threats to Congress and STF, and interference in the PF; (4) Attempting to dissolve or impede the functioning of Congress. Act: statements by the president and participation in anti-democratic demonstrations; (5) Threat against any representative of the nation to coerce him. Act: said he would have to “fight” with Senator Randolfe Rodrigues (Rede-AP), member of the CPI on COVID; (6) Oppose the free exercise of the Judiciary Power. Act: interference in the PF; (7). Threat to embarrass judge. Act: attacks on the Supreme;

(8) Crime against the free exercise of political, individual and social rights. Act: omissions and errors in the fight against the pandemic; (9) Using authorities under your immediate subordination to practice abuse of power. Act: changes in the Armed Forces and interference in the PF; (10) Subvert or attempt to subvert the political and social order. Act: threat to institutions; (11) Inciting military personnel to disobey the law or violate discipline. Act: go to the demonstration in favor of military intervention; (12) Provoking animosity in the armed classes. Act: allies incited riot in the case of the policeman killed by other policemen in Salvador; (13) Violate social rights guaranteed in the Constitution. Act: omissions and errors in the fight against the Pandemic; (14) Crime against the internal security of the country. Act: omissions and errors in the fight against the pandemic;

(15) Decree a state of siege if there is no serious internal commotion. Act: compared the measures of governors with a state of siege; (16) Allow violation of federal law of public order. Act: promote revolt against social isolation in the pandemic; (17) Crime against probity in administration. Act: management of the pandemic and attacks on the electoral process; ( 18) Issuing orders contrary to the Constitution. Act: exchanges in the Armed Forces; (19) Behave in a manner inconsistent with the decorum of office. Act: lies to gain political advantage; (20) Neglecting the conservation of the national heritage. Act: financial management in the pandemic and delays in meeting the demands of states and municipalities in the health crisis; (21) Crime against compliance with court decisions. Act: not to create a plan to protect indigenous peoples during the pandemic.

But his misdeeds go far beyond his legally demonstrable crimes. It would be endless to make a list, but we can make some highlights. Diversion of public resources at MEC by pastors sent by Jair Bolsonaro. Sabotage and corruption in the purchase of vaccines. Secrecy for 100 years on the President's corporate cards. Support for militias in Rio de Janeiro. Purchase of 51 properties with cash. Unacceptable increase in the price of food and fuel. Return of Brazil to the Hunger Map.

It encouraged deforestation and forest fires, invasion of indigenous lands and illegal mining. Privatized state companies at a low price, destroyed democratic institutions responsible for public policies. He cut funds destined for science, culture, education, health, environment and many social projects. He backed Donald Trump's coup attempt in the US and turned Brazil into an international pariah. With the novelty of the secret budget, involving more than 50 billion reais, he became a world champion of corruption.

This list of crimes and wrongdoings is not intended to be exhaustive. If we now remember his crimes against the nation, it is because a movement of Bolsonarist politicians has already begun aimed at granting amnesty to Jair Bolsonaro, his children and his entire gang.

Brazil has a tradition of conciliation. If this absurd proposal to grant amnesty to Jair Bolsonaro for the crimes committed prevails, he will be treated as a normal politician, who made some mistakes, and will be able to live with democracy. Now, anyone in good faith knows that this is not true. His use of democratic rules is instrumental, he does not identify with democracy. On the contrary, there is no lack of examples of his neo-fascist statements and even in favor of neo-Nazi movements. If he had achieved his intention, Jair Bolsonaro would be a dictator as bloodthirsty as Pinochet. His current silent and whining “model” does not erase his crimes against democracy.

Amnesty, if granted, would strongly contribute to the future return of Jair Bolsonaro and the military coup plotters, renewing the cycle of coup threats that they tried, but failed to consummate. In the election, he won civilization against barbarism, science against ignorance, the vaccine against chloroquine, reason against obscurantism, common sense against fundamentalism, information against fake news, democracy against dictatorship.

Roadblock demonstrations and lamentations on the walls of barracks do not constitute a real threat of the famous coup that many on the left have repeatedly announced. The election result will not be annulled. These protesters, financed by agro businessmen and supported by Bolsonarist military and politicians, are being used mainly as a mass of maneuver and pressure to guarantee, together with the new government, the preservation of the advantages, due and undue, to the military, maintenance of some secret decrees and immunity to Jair Bolsonaro himself, who wants not to be prosecuted for his crimes, listed above.

But what Brazilian democrats hope is that he and his family are prosecuted and convicted of the crimes they committed. After all, a democracy that does not defend itself perishes.

*Liszt Vieira is a retired professor of sociology at PUC-Rio. He was a deputy (PT-RJ) and coordinator of the Global Forum of the Rio 92 Conference. Author, among other books, of Democracy reactsGaramond).

 

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