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News > Latin America

Bolsonaro To Be Investigated in Covaxin Corruption Case

  • The signs read,

    The signs read, "Vaccine in the arm, food on the plate", Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 2, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @fenam924

Published 2 July 2021

The Brazilian president did not suspend a contract for the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines even though a lawmaker warned him about irregularities in March.

The Attorney General's Office asked the Supreme Court (TSF) to investigate whether Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro took adequate and timely actions to prevent the misappropriation of public funds during the purchase of Covaxin vaccines.


Bolsonaro Says He Won't Be Defeated by Senate Inquiry

On March 20, Democrat lawmaker Luis Miranda informed the far-right President about the existence of possible irregularities in the purchase of the COVID-19 vaccines. Two days later, in response to this complaint, Bolsonaro allegedly warned Minister Eduardo Pazuello about the corruption case.

Although this official was dismissed on March 23, the Covaxin contract was only suspended this week, that is, over 3 months after Miranda denounced the presence of irregularities.

The request for an investigation was sent by Deputy Prosecutor Humberto Jacques de Medeiros, who pointed out that it is necessary to clarify the details of how Bolsonaro handled the complaint about corruption in the purchase of vaccines. This will be important to determine whether there is a crime of embezzlement or indications of a crime committed for his own benefit.

Medeiros also requested that lawmaker Miranda, Bolsonaro, and others involved in the case formally testify before the judges. Currently, however, the Supreme Court is still debating whether the Brazilian president should present his testimony in writing or person.

While this is happening, workers, farmers, and students organizations confirmed that the "Bolsonaro Out" rallies will be held in 261 cities on July 3. The new wave of massive mobilizations is aimed at demanding that Congress activate at least one of the dozens of impeachment requests.

Previously, as part of the corruption scandal in public procurement, it became known that officials were requesting a bribe of one dollar for each vaccine.

“According to the Military Police officer and representative of the Davati Medical Supply Company,...  Health Minister Logistics Director Roberto Ferreira Dias would have requested a bribe of one dollar for each dose,” local outlet Diario do Centro do Mondo reported.

"The revelations increase the President's discredit and accelerate the demonstrations demanding his departure, which now even have the support of right-wing citizens," it added.

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