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President Jair M. Bolsonaro has clearly committed several common crimes and crimes of responsibility.

Since taking office, President Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly violated his oath to preserve, protect and defend Brazil's Constitution. As if his obsession with subverting the democratic order and the basic rules of the rule of law were not enough, the president has neglected his political and legal responsibilities in facing the Covid-19 pandemic, contributing, through his actions and omissions, to the illness of millions of Brazilians and for the death, until the present moment, of more than 215 thousand people.

President Bolsonaro has been striving since the beginning of his government to deepen political polarization, dividing the country between friends and enemies. With a truculent rhetoric, based on cruelty towards the most vulnerable, on racism, on obscurantism and on the exaltation of violence, weapons and dictatorship, it attacks daily against the fundamental pillars of our Republic, as established by Article 1 of the Constitution.

The president has spared no efforts to destabilize our institutions. He participated in acts and promoted groups that advocate the closure of the National Congress and the Federal Supreme Court, which constitutes a crime of responsibility provided for in article 6, 1 and 5, of Law 10.079, of 1950. Equally serious have been his insidious manifestations inciting the animosity between the armed classes and civil institutions, which constitute yet another crime of responsibility, provided for in article 7, 8, of Law 10.079, of 1950.

President Bolsonaro has also been subverting the Constitution through appointments that are incompatible with the functions to be exercised, by issuing decrees, regulations and administrative acts and by intimidating civil servants. This strategy to thwart the constitutional will is evident in the environmental, indigenous, arms control, human rights, educational, cultural, public security and intelligence policies.

The instrumentalization of the security apparatus to meet the President's personal interests, as well as the embarrassing omission of the Attorney General of the Republic to investigate common crimes attributed to the President of the Republic, also point to this serious process of erosion of our institutions.

As a result of a disastrous foreign policy, refractory to international cooperation, human rights and the environment, Brazil has been placing itself in a position of true international pariah. This has serious consequences for our economy and catastrophic damage to dealing with the pandemic. The delay in obtaining vaccines is a direct result of the disastrous international policy led by Jair Bolsonaro and his assistants.

By systematically neglecting the severity of the pandemic; promote agglomerations; disdain and fail to comply with preventive measures determined by health authorities; boycott the production and procurement of the vaccine; discredit the vaccines themselves; determine the manufacture, distribution and treatment by means of a drug proven to be ineffective in combating or preventing Covid-19; as well as by failing to make all financial and logistical efforts to ensure emergency care for the sick, President Bolsonaro has clearly incurred in various common and liability crimes, such as those provided for in articles 132 and 268 of the Penal Code, article 85, item III, of the Federal Constitution, and 7th, 9, of Law 10.079, of 1950.

As we had already stated in a public note by the Arns Commission, dated May 19, 2020, Jair Bolsonaro lost the minimum conditions to legitimately exercise the presidential mandate assigned to him, due to absolute incapacity, authoritarian vocation, constitutional insubordination and constant threat to democracy and people's life. Since then, the situation has only worsened.

For these reasons, the Arns Commission calls on all those truly committed to democracy and the right to life — citizens, civil society organizations, political parties, business and religious organizations and, above all, fundamental institutions of the Republic, such as the National Congress , the Federal Supreme Court and the Attorney General's Office — to assume their share of responsibility in defending the democratic regime and the Constitution, against the attacks that have been leveled at them by the President of the Republic. It is necessary to say enough to this mismanagement that has caused so much harm to the lives of Brazilians and to our democracy.

*Margarida Bulhoes Pereira Genevois he is honorary president of the Commission for the Defense of Human Rights Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns (Arns Commission).

* Jose Carlos Dias is chairman of the Arns Commission. He was Minister of Justice.

*Paulo Sergio Pinheiro He is a retired professor at the Department of Political Science at USP and former Minister of Human Rights.

Originally published on the blog of Arns Commission.


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