Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Senators accuse Bolsonaro of crimes against humanity (Oct. 27, 2021)

 A Brazilian Senate investigative committee voted 7-to-4 to recommend nine criminal charges against President Jair Bolsonaro for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, including "crimes against humanity." The committee approved a report that also alleges that 77 additional people, including the president’s three sons, and two companies committed crimes, based on six months of explosive testimony that has shocked Brazilians. The committee hearings, broadcast live, have featured emotional witness statements and chilling revelations about the use of ineffective medication on "human guinea pigs."

"The chaos of Jair Bolsonaro's government will enter history as the lowest level of human destitution," said Senator Renan Calheiros, rapporteur of the report, adding that the president was "on the side" of dictators, including Adolf Hitler and Augusto Pinochet.

Final changes to the report released last week include recommending charges for 13 additional people, many of them current or former Health Ministry employees, as well as Amazonas state governor Wilson Limas. 

The panel also voted to ask Brazil’s Supreme Court to request that Bolsonaro be banned from social media for the “protection of the population.” The addition comes after the president suggested during a weekly social media livestream that the coronavirus vaccine could cause AIDS. Facebook and YouTube removed the video, and YouTube froze Bolsonaro’s channel for a week. (See yesterday's briefs.) The senators agreed to ask Google, Facebook, and Twitter to send data on the president's internet activity since April 2020 to the Prosecutor General's Office and the Supreme Court.

Bolsonaro is unlikely to face formal charges as president -- they would have to be brought by Brazil's prosecutor-general, whom the president appointed and is widely viewed as protecting Bolsonaro. Sen. Omar Aziz, the chairman of the inquiry, said he would deliver the recommendation to Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras this morning. Aras’ office said the report would be carefully reviewed as soon as it is received.

The report also contains recommendations for two counts of “crime of responsibility,” which are grounds for impeachment. But impeachment proceedings would have to pass Lower House Speaker Arthur Lira, an ally of Bolsonaro who is currently sitting on more than 120 other impeachment requests.

Nonetheless, the report highlights Bolsonaro's increasing isolation ahead of presidential elections next year.

More Brazil
  • International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva defended the fund’s actions in changing language on Brazil’s climate risks in response to staff demands for answers on the topic, reports Reuters. Bloomberg reported this month that the final language on climate change economic risks to Brazil in the report was “softened” from an initial draft.
News Briefs

  • Haiti's acute fuel crisis is the latest emanation of the country's security vacuum -- gangs currently control about half of Port-au-Prince. And, in turn, the fuel crisis is exacerbating the country's humanitarian crisis, including food shortages that grow more severe each day, reports the New York Times

  • Schools and businesses have been shuttered due to a lack of fuel, and hospitals have issued SOS, warning that patients will die if fuel is not forthcoming. Cellphone service has also been affected, reports the Miami Herald.

  • Jimmy Cherizier, one of the country’s most feared gang leaders, gave a news conference yesterday, in which he said his criminal network was blocking the delivery of fuel with  the goal to pressure Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign. But the fuel shortages are endangering the lives of the country's poorest in myriad ways, reports the New York Times.

  • Haiti's Senate leader Joseph Lambert called Prime Minister Ariel Henry to resign, reports CNN. He proposed a new transition government should be installed until elections can be held next -- with himself as the interim president.

  • U.S. President Joe Biden is directly engaged in an effort to rescue 17 missionaries kidnapped 11 days ago by a Haitian gang, reports the Miami Herald.

  • The Biden administrations expulsions of Haitian migrants are an abandonment of its principles – and its friends – in a doomed effort to placate extremist voices, writes Brian Concannon at Al Jazeera.
  • Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel warned the U.S. embassy in Havana against fomenting protests by dissidents planned for Nov. 15. Authorities have denied permits for the protests, planned for the same day the country reopens to tourism, and say the demonstrations are underwritten by the U.S., reports Reuters. Cuban authorities have threatened organizers of a pro-democracy march called for November with legal charges and have sought to intimidate potential participants, according to activists. (See yesterday's briefs.)

  • "Washington’s active support for dissidents puts everything in peril, most importantly, the people it wants to help," writes William LeoGrande at Responsible Statecraft. "The United States and Cuba are on a collision course over U.S. diplomats’ support for “democracy promotion” programs, and Cuban dissidents may end up as collateral damage, spending years in prison as a result."
Regional Relations
  • Two top police commanders in Colombia and Mexico have recently admitted to filtering sensitive information to drug traffickers while working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. There are growing calls for scrutiny of the agency's actions in Latin America, reports InSight Crime.
  • Dozens of demonstrators were arrested in Ecuador in mass Indigenous-led protests against President Guillermo Lasso's economic policies, reports Al Jazeera. Under pressure from CONAIE and Indigenous legislators, Lasso announced last week he was freezing the monthly increases of fuel prices, but fixed new prices slightly higher than those that had been expected to go into effect in October.
  • Far-right Chilean presidential candidate José Antonio Kast's rise has been fueled by a backlash against politics as usual, strong rhetoric against immigrants, and his ability to channel the simmering anger of Chile’s middle class, writes Robert Funk in Americas Quarterly. "Indeed, he could be described as the true populist in the race," writes Funk. "But this is 2021, and this is not your grandparents’ pinochetismo. Kast criticizes immigration, downplays the demands of the country’s indigenous communities, and promises to combat 'gender ideology.'"

  • The recent death of a Chilean protestor at the hands of the police is yet another example of the country’s pattern of responding to civil unrest with force, and is part of an increasingly repressive environment, reports Nacla.
  • A proposed energy constitutional change proposed by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador would undo the reforms made under his predecessor and likely weaken Mexico's electricity sector, according to the Latin America Risk Report.

  • Mexico plans to seek the arbitration of a panel of experts to resolve a simmering dispute with the United States over the interpretation of rules of origin in the automotive industry, according to Reuters.
  • Protests against copper mines in Peru have been ongoing since President Pedro Castillo took office in July, reports Reuters.
Did I miss something, get something wrong, or do you have a different take? Let me know ... Latin America Daily Briefing


  1. I was diagnosed of herpes 3 years, and ever since then i have been taking treatment to prevent outbreaks, burning and blisters, but there was no improvement until i came across testimonies of DR. USELU on how he has been curing different people from different diseases all over the world, then i contacted him. After our conversation he sent me the medicine which I took according to his instructions for up to 2 weeks. After completing the medication I went back to my doctor for another test and the virus was all gone and I was completely cured, since then I have not had any signs of outbreak. I'm so filled with joy. With herbal medication Herpes Virus is 100% curable. I refer { DR.USELU } to everyone out there with the virus. Email: Add DR. USELU on whats App +234 7052898482

  2. Hello everyone, I have been suffering from herpes virus since 2017. During the first year the OB was all over my body was type 1 and 2 was using famciclovir and valacyclovir to control the OBs. Was always feeling bad and needed a cure, went on web and saw about Chief Dr Lucky I saw a testimonies of someone who has been cured from genital warts and another with Cancer by Chief Dr Lucky so I wrote to Chief Dr Lucky telling him about my herpes virus he told me not to worry that i was going to be cured I was happy, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by him, few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as assured by him. After some time i went to my doctor to confirm if i have been finally free from the virus oh it was real. hepatitis, genital wart, herpes/STDs and diabetes. you can email him on> or

    WhatsApp +2348132777335