Brazil: after inaction, the sanctions against President Jair Bolsonaro?

In Brazil, the populist and provocative president Jair Bolsonaro will have to account for his management of the Covid-19 which has wreaked havoc in the country. Even though the epidemic has been even deadlier in the United States with nearly 730,000 dead, Brazil is just behind. The toll in the country is over 600,000 dead with more than 21 million people infected out of about 213 million inhabitants.

Jair Bolsonaro spent his time minimizing the health crisis, putting it into perspective as in this speech, last March where he launched to his supporters: “You are not weaklings!” and worried Brazilians: “Stop complaining and whining!” In March 2020 at the heart of the crisis, he affirms loud and clear that“There is no reason to panic. It is not a little flu that will bring me down.” In July 2020, Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for Covid-19 and allowed himself to be filmed taking a third dose of hydroxychloroquine. He explains that his condition is improving thanks to this widely controversial treatment.

Scandals followed one after another, at the same time as the contaminations curve panicked. On vaccination, Jair Bolsonaro also takes the opposite view of the health authorities. A few days ago he announced “that he would not be vaccinated”. Unsurprisingly, he is also viscerally opposed to the health pass.

After inaction, will sanctions therefore fall against the Brazilian president? For the moment, there are accusations in any case, those brought by the ICC, the parliamentary commission of inquiry of the Brazilian Senate with various political tendencies. Six months of hearings and revelations … The commission looked in particular at the relations between the government and private health mutuals accused of promoting treatment with hydroxychloroquine. One of these mutuals is suspected of having carried out experiments with this type of treatment, without the knowledge of the patients who have become “guinea pigs”.

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The report is almost 1,200 pages long and 10 charges have been filed, including “crimes against humanity”. These crimes are judged “intentional” by the ICC for whom Jair Bolsonaro has deliberately decided not to take the necessary measures to contain the circulation of the virus. Can Jair Bolsonaro be sentenced? For this it is necessary that the Brazilian president, on the basis of this report, is indicted by the prosecution. Problem: The Attorney General is an ally of Jair Bolsonaro. There is also the possibility of an impeachment procedure but again, Jair Bolsonaro should have enough support in Parliament. The accusations are serious but Jair Bolsonaro talks about “masquerade”. It remains to be seen what weight this report will have in the coming campaign. The presidential election will take place next year. In the polls for the moment Jair Bolsonaro is given the loser against the ex-president of the left, Lula da Silva. Its popularity rating has melted and is at its lowest: 22% of favorable opinions. It is already for him, the beginning of sanction.

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