At the Hague Court

Image: Clara Figueiredo, blind goat, digital photomontage, 2020


Bolsonaro's crimes were not limited to the area of ​​health

 “A weak king makes a strong people weak” (Camões, The Lusiads, Canto III).

A copy of the final report of the ICC on COVID will be sent to the ICC (International Criminal Court) in The Hague, Netherlands. President Jair Bolsonaro is accused of conduct that constitutes a crime against humanity, a criminal offense accepted for trial by international justice. Senator Randolfe Rodrigues, vice-president of the CPI, stated that the Report will be voted on 20/10 and taken to the Attorney General's Office the following day. Afterwards, the Report will be taken to the International Criminal Court: “So much work cannot simply be wasted, without consequences. The memory of 600 Brazilians demands and demands these measures from us and we will comply with them” (The globe, 12/10/2021).

The insistence on ineffective treatments, such as chloroquine, for example (which contributed to the more than 600 victims of the pandemic), sabotage and delay in vaccination, damage caused to indigenous peoples, are some of the accusations. The strategy of triggering the ICC will certainly increase the deterioration of Bolsonaro's image in the world, even if the legal results are uncertain.

In 2019, Bolsonaro was indicted to the International Court by the Arns Commission for “crimes against humanity” and “inciting the genocide of indigenous peoples” in Brazil. Specialists in international law are divided on the possibility of concrete results.

“I don't see it easily”, says Alexandria Alexim, professor of international law at Universidade Cândido Mendes, in Rio de Janeiro.

“Because there is no case law. I searched the ICC and did not see similar judgments. Covid, the pandemic, are very new issues for the International Court” (UOL, 11/10/2021).

On the other hand, the only Brazilian judge who has served on the Court (2003-2016), Sylvia Steiner, believes that there is “abundant evidence” for a future international condemnation of Bolsonaro. According to her, with regard to crimes of responsibility, the evidence is robust. The crime of causing an epidemic and disrespecting sanitary measures are very well demonstrated. If the right measures had been taken at the right time, we would not have reached this staggering 600 deaths.

In the opinion of Judge Sylvia Steiner, there really was a project, a purposeful policy to generate so-called herd immunity. As a policy, it is an element of the context of a crime against humanity. It was not simply ignorance, incompetence and lack of knowledge. It was the implementation of a policy that an alleged infection of the population would generate a positive result. You don't use a population as a test subject; this, in theory, is a crime against humanity (UOL, Estadão Content, 26/9/2021).

As a result, we have more than 600 deaths, unemployment, hunger and widespread misery and the extermination of indigenous peoples and the Amazon Forest. Brazil endorsed the treaty that created the ICC and submitted to the Court's jurisdiction. Complaints related to three criminal offenses provided for in international law may be submitted to the ICC: genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. In Bolsonaro's case, the accusation of genocide would only be valid with regard to indigenous peoples who received the chloroquine potion, useless to fight Covid, and who were often exterminated by prospectors, miners and farmers, with Bolsonaro's direct support. . With regard to crimes against humanity, the legal basis is broader, as it covers deaths from Covid, stimulated by denialism, propaganda of ineffective early treatments and sabotage of the vaccine by the president.

Several environmentalist organizations, scientists and former judges, led by the Austrian entity All rise, on 12/10/2021, they filed a complaint against the Brazilian president with the ICC for crimes against humanity. The complaint bears the title “The planet against Bolsonaro”. This is the sixth complaint against Bolsonaro known to the ICC. But the first to deal specifically with its environmental policy. According to the complaint, “the actions of Bolsonaro and his government are a broad and systematic attack on the Amazon, its dependencies and its defenders, and which result not only in the persecution, murder and inhuman suffering of millions of people in the region, but also in the world. whole". The case is presented on the eve of the world climate summit, in Glasgow, to be held in November this year.

The destruction of the Amazon biome affects everyone, all over the world, says the complaint. "The evidence shows how Bolsonaro's actions are directly linked to the negative impacts of climate change around the world", explained the founder of the All rise, Johannes Wesemann. The complaint further states that, according to estimates, “the emissions attributable to the Bolsonaro government will cause more than 180.000 deaths from excess heat across the planet over the next 80 years based on current climate commitments.” With climate change, heat waves around the world increase in number, intensity and duration. 37% of heat deaths over the past three decades are attributed to global climate change, which equates to thousands of deaths annually (UOL, 12/10/2021).

Bolsonaro's crimes were not limited to the health area. He adopted the strategy of Olavo de Carvalho/Steve Bannon, according to which it is first necessary to destroy everything that is public and only then rebuild it, through private initiative. He made it clear upon assuming the presidency: “I came to destroy, not to build”. It has been efficient in this task. In addition to deaths from Covid denial, vaccine sabotage and official support for the use and distribution to hospitals throughout Brazil of useless Covid remedies, such as chloroquine, it has been destroying education, culture, scientific research, environment, human rights and downgrading foreign policy, making Brazil a pariah in the international community.

When the old is dying and the new cannot be born, monsters appear, Gramsci said in his prison notebooks. But our monster doesn't seem to have a long life. His support base, mainly businessmen and the military, in the face of the failure of the third way, the idea of ​​transforming the third way into a second way, without Bolsonaro, is maturing. In this case, it is not known what he would do, whether he would try a coup or accept running for deputy or senator to obtain parliamentary immunity and escape justice. It is one possibility, among others.

It remains for the popular movement to assume new forms of struggle to expand support for street demonstrations Outside Bolsonaro and to elaborate a Minimum Program for sustainable development with social protection, with the objective of strengthening and putting pressure on Lula’s candidacy, which has been asserting itself as a a center candidacy with great chances of victory.

*Liszt Vieira is a retired professor at PUC-RJ. Author, among other books, of Identity and globalization (Record).

Originally published on the portal Major Card.


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