April 31, 2020


1. Supreme Court authorizes investigation of accusations against the president

The Federal Supreme Court authorized an investigation into accusations of made by former Minister of Justice Sergio Moro against President Jair Bolsonaro. The president was accused of trying to interfere politically in the work of the Federal Police. According to the Federal Supreme Court, Moro’s claims provide grounds for an investigation, which could later become a lawsuit. The request for the investigation came from Prosecutor-General Augusto Aras, who has the prerogative to sue the president. During a press conference announcing his departure from the administration, Moro said that Bolsonaro had decided to change the command of the Federal Police because he wanted to have access to information regarding investigations into his family. On the same day he was accused, Bolsonaro denied the claims and said that Moro would only accept the replacement of the Federal Police command in exchange for his nomination to the Federal Supreme Court. “The Minister who has just left made accusations that he must prove, especially for my biography, OK?” 

Valor Econômico: STF autoriza abertura de inquérito contra presidente
Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente diz que ex-ministro terá de provar acusações
O Estado de S. Paulo: Presidente não está acima da lei, diz ministro do STF
Folha de S.Paulo: Hipótese de impeachment divide o país, diz pesquisa
O Globo: Saiba mais sobre a abertura do inquérito

2. New Minister of Justice takes over, Supreme Court vetoes new Federal Police director

Following the exchange of accusations between former minister Sergio Moro and President Jair Bolsonaro, attorney André de Almeida Mendonça was named Minister of Justice. Mendonça is the former Attorney General of Brazil. Although he is a minister in the Presbyterian Church, he is not part of the Bolsonaro family’s inner circle and has a good relationship with justices from the Federal Supreme Court. For general director of the Federal Police, Bolsonaro nominated Alexandre Ramagem, a former director of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency and someone with the confidence of the President and his sons, particularly representative Carlos Bolsonaro. However, the Federal Supreme Court authorized a writ of mandamus claiming that the nomination was an abuse of authority, prohibiting Ramagem from heading the Federal Police. A few hours later, The President said that he still plans to make Ramagem general director for the Federal Police. “I am the boss,” he said.

Folha de S.Paulo: Novo ministro da Justiça dialoga com STF
O Globo: Mendonça diz que fará “trabalho técnico” no ministério
Folha de S.Paulo: Supremo suspende posse no comando da PF
O Globo: ‘Quem manda sou eu’, diz Bolsonaro

3. Embraer asks for compensation after Boeing abandons deal

Embraer has initiated an international arbitration process against Boeing following the collapse of the joint venture between the companies. Embraer is seeking compensation. The deal’s collapse, which would have had Boeing invest USD $4.2 billion into the Brazilian aviation company, had been in the works since 2017. The American company reported a USD $641 million loss in Q1 2020. Boeing claims Embraer failed to fulfil contractual pre-conditions. The Brazilian company denies these claims. Embraer wants Boeing to pay at least R$ 500 million (USD $91.9 million) in damages. According to the special secretary for Productivity at the Ministry of Economy, Carlos Da Costa, the collapse was expected. Embraer’s market value stood at USD $3.6 billion when the deal was made and is currently valued at USD $1.1 billion.

Valor Econômico: Embraer quer ressarcimento da Boeing
Folha de S.Paulo: Embraer abre processo de arbitragem contra Boeing
Valor Econômico: Boeing registra US$ 641 milhões de prejuízo

4. Consumer and Business confidence indices collapse in April

The Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) registered the lowest Consumer Confidence Index among Brazilians in the past 15 years, since the creation of the index. The index for April dropped to 58.2 points from 80.2 at the beginning of the month. The intention to purchase durable goods in the following months was the main cause for the drop, as it went from 35.6 points to 21.1 points, its lowest point since 2005. There was also a 29.4 point drop in optimism towards family finances. According to the index, there was a drop in confidence among consumers from all income categories, but especially among families of low income (up to R$ 2,100 a month). “The pessimism towards future months can be seen among every income group, which leads consumers to decrease their consumption,” says Viviane Seda Bittencourt, Polling Coordinator at FGV. A similar drop in optimism can be seen in the Business Confidence Index, which fell to 61.2 points from 88.1, the lowest such figure since the index was created in 2010.

O Globo: Confiança despenca entre comerciantes e consumidores

5. Death toll increases and president says he “doesn’t do miracles”

This week, Brazil surpassed China in the number of deaths attributed to the coronavirus. Brazil has registered 5,500 deaths from COVID-19 with nearly 80,000 confirmed cases of the disease. The spread of the virus – especially in São Paulo, where the majority of the cases have been registered – is already severely affecting the health system. According to the state government, 89% of ICU spaces in the metropolitan region of São Paulo are occupied. In the state of São Paulo, the ICU occupation rate stood at 69,3%. When questioned about the fact that Brazil surpassed China in the number of deaths, the president criticized state governors and mayors and denied responsibility. “So what? I’m sorry. What do you want me to do? I’m the ‘Messias,’ but I don’t perform miracles,” said the President, whose full name is Jair Messias (Messiah) Bolsonaro.

O Globo: Mortes no Brasil superam o total registrado na China
Folha de S.Paulo: Presidente critica governadores
G1: ‘Sou Messias, mas não faço milagre’, diz Bolsonaro sobre mortes
O Globo: Especialistas veem subnotificação de casos
IRRD Covid-19: Veja o mapeamento de casos no Brasil e no mundo
G1: Acompanhe notícias sobre a pandemia