September 27, 2019


1. Most Federal Supreme Court Justices think Car Wash trials had faults

On Thursday, there was a new threat to the rulings from Operation Car Wash. Most of the Justices in the Federal Supreme Court believe that trials, in which whistle-blowers were heard after the defendants, must be reassessed. Final statements must always come from defendants. Seven Justices agree that this is the case and three disagree. The only reason why the decision hasn’t been reinforced yet is because Justice Marco Aurélio Mello left the court after the deliberation. Dias Toffoli, President of the Supreme Court, rescheduled the ruling for Wednesday. The Justices will have to decide which trials need to be reassessed: only the ones that have been contested, any of them or if the decision will only apply to future trials. Experts believe that the Federal Supreme Court has sent a message to Operation Car Wash and to Justice Minister Sergio Moro, a former judge who is seen as the face of the convictions. The court has not ruled out reassessing the trial of former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Folha de S.Paulo: Em derrota da Lava Jato, STF aponta falha em julgamentos
Valor Econômico: Aliados de Lula avaliam decisão com ceticismo
O Estado de S. Paulo: Maioria do STF aprova tese que pode afetar a Lava Jato
S. Paulo: Investigação sobre o Judiciário é protocolada no Senado

2. At the UN, Bolsonaro defends Brazil’s sovereignty and criticizes globalism

President Jair Bolsonaro had promised a “conciliatory” speech at the United Nation’s General Assembly. On Tuesday, however, his speech was full of complaints about the threat of socialism, France and Germany attempting to interfere with Brazil’s environmental policies as well as media manipulation regarding the Amazon. The President even questioned the efficiency of the UN. Bolsonaro praised the military regime in Brazil and criticized NGOs that – according to him – “insist on treating our indigenous people as cavemen.” Soon after his speech, Donald Trump showed support for the Brazilian president. “The future does not belong to ‘globalists’. It belongs to the patriots and to sovereign and independent nations,” said the American president. Read the analysis of the president’s strategy at Brasília Report.

Valor Econômico: Bolsonaro ataca França, mídia, ONGs e a própria ONU
Folha de S.Paulo: Discurso foi bastante objetivo e não agressivo, diz Bolsonaro
O Globo: Posicionamento de brasileiro se assemelhou ao de Trump
Folha de S.Paulo: Confira a íntegra do discurso de Bolsonaro na ONU

3. Poll shows 55% of people do not trust the President

The majority of Brazilians (55%) do not trust President Jair Bolsonaro, according to a poll by Ibope carried from September 19th to 22nd with 2,000 people in 126 cities. In April this year, a poll showed that 45% of people didn’t trust the president. The percentage grew to 51% in June. According to the poll, 50% of people disapprove of the administration, an increase from the percentages seen in June (48%) and April (40%). The president’s governing style is approved by just 44%, a decrease compared to 46% of people in June and 51% in April. The poll shows that people are increasingly tired of the President. Since the beginning of the administration, this is the second poll showing that the majority of people disapprove of Bolsonaro and do not support him. Since January, approval ratings for his way of governing have dropped by 23 percentage points – going from 66% to 44%. His disapproval rating increased by 29 percentage points over the same period – from 21% to 50%.

O Estado de S. Paulo: Cresce a rejeição ao presidente Bolsonaro
O Globo: Popularidade, aprovação e confiança no presidente caem

4. Congress rejects vetoes to Abuse of Authority Law

Congress rejected 18 out of the 33 vetoes President Jair Bolsonaro made to the legislation on abuse of authority. The bill toughens punishment for public servants such as judges, prosecutors and police officers who abuse their authority. Judges and prosecutors have said that the bill might lead to investigations being jeopardized. Some points that congress members have added back to the bill are: 1 to 4 years in prison for judges who convict defendants to prison against legal hypotheses, judges who ease convictions illegally and punishment for authorities that coerce individuals – through violence or threats – to produce evidence against themselves or other people. Senate President Davi Alcolumbre, who criticized last week’s Federal Police raid of Senator Fernando Bezerra Coelho’s office and home, approved the rejection of vetoes. Members of Congress thought the Police abused their authority.

Folha de S.Paulo: Congresso derruba vetos de Bolsonaro à lei de abuso

5. Prosecutor General nominated by Bolsonaro is sworn in

The Senate approved Augusto Aras as the new Prosecutor General of the Republic by 68 votes to 19, replacing Raquel Dodge. President Jair Bolsonaro, who ignored the list of candidates suggested by prosecutors, nominated Aras for the job. The new Prosecutor General will have a two-year mandate. In the past, Aras has said that Operation Car Wash was a milestone in fighting corruption, but that there have been abuses and they must be corrected. He said that everything could be done again, but “under less public scrutiny”. On controversial matters such as legalizing abortion and marijuana, he has said those matters should be discussed in Congress. He also said that every person has the “sacred right” of choosing their gender “at the appropriate age”.

Valor Econômico: Indicado por Bolsonaro, procurador-geral é aprovado

Brasilia Report

Click here for the Brasilia Report, a weekly analysis prepared by JeffreyGroup Senior Advisor in Brasilia, Gustavo Krieger.