26 September 2023

BRAZIL: Defence rebuffs President

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The Brazilian Ministry of Defence has issued an unprecedented rebuff to President Jair Bolsonaro stating that the country’s armed forces were “dedicated to their constitutional mission and democracy, and violence against members of the press is not acceptable”.

This comes after Mr Bolsonaro headlined a rally in which hundreds of supporters called for a military coup, during which three members of the press where assaulted by demonstrators.

During the protests Mr Bolsonaro also attacked Congress and the courts on a day when the number of COVID-19 cases in the country past 100,000 – the president has famously downplayed the pandemic as “a little flu”.

The right-wing former army captain, Mr Bolsonaro, has drawn criticism from across the political spectrum for dismissing the threat of the virus in Brazil.

Dozens of public figures signed an open letter calling on officials to protect the nation’s Indigenous people, who often live in remote locations with limited access to healthcare.

To add to what is seen as a mounting political crisis, Minister for Justice, Sergio Moro (pictured) resigned and accused the President of firing the Federal Police Chief in a bid to appoint a personal ally to the post and meddle in sensitive investigations.

Then the Supreme Court blocked Mr Bolsonaro’s pick for a new chief, enraging the President.

Mr Moro, among Brazil’s most popular public figures due to his tough stance on corruption, presented testimony regarding possible obstruction of justice by Mr Bolsonaro.

This led to the President called Mr Moro “Judas” on Twitter, referring to the Apostle who betrayed Jesus.

Brasilia, 6 May, 2020

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