A Brazilian senator has presented a formal report that recommends President Jair Bolsonaro is indicted for criminal charges. He is accused of bungling Brazil’s response to the COVID-19 epidemic, causing the death toll in Brazil to be second in the world.
The 1,200-page report of Sen. RenanCalheiros was based on six months’ work by the committee that investigated the government’s handling of the pandemic. It was made public on Wednesday by the Senate’s electronic systems. Bolsonaro should be indicted for a variety of charges, including inciting crime and charlatanism as well as crimes against humanity.
You can amend the report before the Oct. 26 vote of the committee. The decision about whether to bring most of the charges against Brazil would rest with the prosecutor-general appointed by the president.
Analysts believe it is unclear if he will act.
Other recommended charges include misuse of public money and “prevarication”, which refers to delaying or refusing to take action as part of a public officer’s duty for personal interests.
Bolsonaro denied any wrongdoing and has accused the investigation of being a political tool aimed at sabotaging his presidency.
Bolsonaro has been criticized by critics for downplaying COVID-19’s severity and ignoring international guidelines on masks, restrictions on activity and activities designed to stop the virus from spreading, and for promoting unproven treatments that delay the acquisition of vaccines.
The Senate committee was formed in April to investigate allegations that Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic led to many of Brazil’s 600,000.
Calheiros was the official report writer for the committee. He was to read the summary to the eleven-person committee later Wednesday.
Before the document can be sent to the office for the prosecutor-general, it must be approved by the committee. The prosecutor-general would decide whether to continue the investigation or pursue charges. Brazil’s congressional committees have the ability to investigate but not have the power of indicting.
The allegations in the report will fuel criticism of Far-Right leader, regardless of whether he is charged. His approval ratings are down ahead of his 2022 election campaign. The election is just one year away.
Thiago De Aragao, director strategy at political consultancy Arko Advice, stated that “the major impact of this investigation is political because it generated tons news that will certainly be used by campaign strategists next Year.”
Bolsonaro maintained strict activity restrictions even during the worst pandemic. He claimed that the poor would be more affected if the economy stopped. Bolsonaro continues to claim that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, is effective in treating COVID-19. However, large studies have shown it to be dangerous and ineffective.
Six months of investigation saw senators obtain thousands of documents and hear testimony from more than 60 people.
According to the report, the committee “collected evidence that abundantly demonstrated the federal government was silent and chose not to act in an technical and reckless manner.”
A draft of the earlier report recommended that the president be indicted not only for genocide but also for homicide. However, these two charges were dropped by committee members who expressed concern about the credibility of the report and opposition to their claims.
The final report still concluded that the government had “deliberately exposed” the population to a risk of mass infection. This was influenced by unofficial advisors who advocated for herd immunity, long after experts had said it wasn’t possible.
Bolsonaro is not the only one being charged in the final report. There are also charges against dozens of other allies, former and current members of his administration, his three oldest sons (all of whom are politicians) and two companies.