Brazil: Deputy Roberto Jefferson, ally of Jair Bolsonaro, arrested for attack on democracy

The former deputy and Bolsonarist leader Roberto Jefferson was arrested this Friday by order of the Supreme Court accused of participating in a network that promotes acts against democracy, like using social media -where he is shown carrying firearms- to require the intervention of the army at the highest court or the expulsion of the Chinese ambassador.

Jefferson’s imprisonment, in politics since 1970, was authorized by the the magistrate of the Supreme Federal Court of Brazil Alexandre de Moraes, instructor of the investigation that takes place at the highest level in the country, at the request of the Federal Police (PF).

Moraes discusses the Pocketnist campaigns against the powers of the State and in which he was included by having spread lies about alleged electoral fraud President Jair Bolsonaro himself.

The charge has to do with the financing digital militias for institutional collapse, a practice of the Brazilian extreme right identified with the government of former US President Donald Trump and the American extremist and segregationist movement Qanon.

The investigation

The investigation began in 2019 limited to the dissemination of false news over the internet, but has recently turned to focus on the possible existence of those who were described as “anti-democratic digital groups”, mainly from the far right led by the ruler.

In his decision, the Supreme Court judge found that it was “demonstrated unequivocally in the process the strong evidence of materiality and authorship” Jefferson’s crimes of libel, defamation, slander, and apology to crime, among other crimes.

Moraes highlighted that the politician even asked for the closure of the STF and the suspension of all judges from the court to end the independence of the Judiciary.

The Federal Constitution does not allow the propagation of ideas contrary to the constitutional order and the rule of law, nor the holding of demonstrations on social networks to break the rule of law (…)”, added Moraes.

The Federal Police arrested Jefferson, president of the Brazilian Labor Party (PTB), historically center-right force that joined Bolsonarismo in defending the carrying of weapons, in the dissemination of anti-communist campaigns and in the requests for military intervention in the Supreme Court.

Jefferson recently visited the Planalto Palace and was praised by the military wing, mainly in the networks of former General Luiz Ramos, General Secretary of the Presidency.

Scandal Mensalao

Jefferson was an ally of the Government of Fernando Collor de Mello, who resigned from the presidency in 1992 due to corruption, and later was the base of support for the progressives. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

The deputy arrested this Friday had sentenced to seven years in prison for corruption by the high court in the scandal known as Mensalao, which affected the government of former president Lula, of which he was an ally from 2003 to 2005.

The former deputy was a reporter for Mensalao, accusing the former head of the Lula Cabinet Jose directed to run a money distribution network for allied parties in Congress.

However, Jefferson later clarified that his accusation had to do with payment of electoral campaigns made by the PT and not buying votes, though admitted to having kept four million reais of his own political strength.

After serving your sentence, joined the government of Michel Temer and in 2018 he promoted his daughter christian brazil as Minister of Labour. The appointment, approved by Temer, was annulled by the Federal Supreme Court, since the politician’s daughter was answerable in court for corruption and violation of labor legislation with employees who worked for her.

Closing your social networks

Morales ordered the closing of Twitter accounts in which Jefferson showed videos of guns threatening court membersThe latter were to threaten electoral judges for an alleged fraud in the 2022 elections, a banner Bolsonaro embraced.

In recent months, Jefferson posted videos of weapons threatening the Chinese ambassador and calling for the court to be closed, in a tropical version of the far-right Qanon movement that supports Trump in the United States and is responsible for the Capitol invasion of Washington.

Before your account is deleted by court order, Jeffereson had claimed to be a victim of “communism”, that the Federal Superior Court acted “like Venezuela” and that it defended the Brazilian homeland and family.

Vice President Hamilton Mourão attacked the court’s decision, saying that anyone who feels offended by Jefferson should sue him in court, but “ordering him to arrest him is complicated.”

military intervention

The former deputy is one of the main supporters of a military intervention in the Supreme Court, a slogan with which part of Bolonarism usually takes to the streets. The high court is investigating Bolsonaro in three cases opened this year.

The last was on Thursday, by decision of Moraes, for which Bolsonaro is being investigated for publicly leaking a secret file summarizing the action of a hacker against electronic voting machines.

Another lawsuit is for allegedly having lied and publicized conspiracies that violated the current electoral system and the first is for malfeasance in a corruption scandal that involves intention to fraudulently purchase Covaxin vaccines from Ministry of Health intermediaries.


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