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Brazil: ‘Bolsonaro be tried for crimes against humanity’

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The Brazilian Parliament’s Commission of Inquiry into the Covid Pandemic (CPI) has approved the conclusions of an investigation in which it recommends the indictment of President Jair Bolsonaro for nine crimes related to his management of the emergency, including “crimes against the humanity”. After dozens of hearings, the ICC approved with 7 votes out of 11 the report accusing the government of having “deliberately exposed” Brazilians to “mass contamination”. There is also talk of “prevarication”, “charlatanism” and “incitement to commit a crime”. At the end of the vote, a minute of silence recalled the 606,000 Brazilians who died of Covid.

The text, presented last week by rapporteur Renan Calheiros, recommends the indictment of around 80 people, including several ministers, former ministers, companies and Bolsonaro’s three eldest sons, all elected officials. However, it does not have immediate effect and risks not having any: the report must in fact be submitted to the competent prosecutor, directed by an ally of President Augusto Aras. However, the charge of “crime against humanity” could end up in the International Criminal Court in The Hague. The president, whose popularity is in sharp decline according to polls, continues to deny any allegations.

“We know we’ve done the right thing from the start,” he said last week. The Commission accuses him of deliberately deciding not to take the necessary measures against the coronavirus, trusting in achieving herd immunity, a “high-risk” strategy. The “deliberate delay” in the acquisition of vaccines was also denounced, as the government preferred to promote ineffective treatments such as hydroxychloroquine, with “tragic consequences” for the population. And finally of not having supplied the Amazonian populations with oxygen, decimated by the virus.

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