Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro fired Minister Carlos Alberto dos Santos Cruz on Thursday, leading the Government Secretariat to date. General in the reserve, Santos Cruz led the UN missions to Haiti and the Congo, and now becomes the third minister left by the Executive in six months and the first of the military wing, the closest of the president of right. As secretary of the government, he was the responsible for the communication of the Executive. Santos Cruz will be replaced by another general, Luiz Ramos Baptista Pereira, until today responsible for the command of the army of the south-eastern region of Brazil. With this change of letters, Bolsonaro retains seven ministers who belonged to the armed forces in the executive.
The output of Santos Cruz surprised the Brazilians when they still try to assimilate the scandal revealed last Sunday by a series of information published by Intercepts Brazil that point to another frontline minister, Sérgio Moro, former judge of Lava Jato case. After several days of silence, the president publicly defended his chief of Justice, who was at the center of the controversy after the messages filtered by the digital publication, which places him in a position compromised by, presumably, interfering directly in the charges against the Workers' Party (PT, today in the opposition) and the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
When the situation seemed to return to normal, the announcement of the resignation of Santos Cruz arrived. From January, the official occupied a strategic position in the Brazilian administration, but his figure had worn out after having participated in a power dispute with Carlos Bolsonaro, the president's son and one of those who contributed to the strategy in social networks, fundamental in the electoral victory of the extreme right. The head of the government's communication had a different view of the president's son, who combined his duties as a councilor in Rio de Janeiro with the dictation of the direction of his father's virtual strategy. Santos Cruz has also confronted the writer Olavo de Carvalho, thinker of the head of Bolsonarism and of whom the military was the object of criticism.
In April, the former minister released an interview in defense of the fact that social networks should have some laws to avoid excesses. "Something needs to be done very carefully so that (the net) does not become a bomb in the hands of radical groups, from one end or the other," he said. The idea caused the fury of Olavo de Carvalho, guru of Bolsonaro. "Check the Internet, Santos Cruz, check your mouth, you're a shit …" The president didn't defend him from that attack and even threw an ironic tweet about a possible network check. Peace reigned in the following months, but now it is seen as a simple respite.
The consequences of the resignation of another minister in the Bolsonaro government are still hypothesized, which loses the support of its more moderate exponents and opts for its more radicalized side. A risky maneuver for Bolsonaro, who must face a negative assessment of his leadership and who must administer the scandal of the Minister Moro with great care.
The revelations of the newspaper Intercepts Brazil steal prestige from the former judge of Lava Jato, which until now seemed immune to criticism. A survey conducted this week by the Political Atlas company on a universe of 2,000 people shows that the popularity of the Justice owner has increased from 60% to 50% in just one month. A tremendous fall in a very short time, according to political scientist Andrei Roman: "Moro has always suffered attacks but has never lost support".
According to the Atlas survey, 58% of respondents believe it is wrong for a judge to advise and hold private interviews with the members of the prosecution or defend a defendant without knowledge of the other part. The dialogues released to date by L & # 39; interception – and that was not denied by the same minister-, reveal intense conversations of Moro with the coordinator of the Lava Jato.
This Thursday, Bolsonaro finally broke the silence to defend his justice minister. "What he did (in his time as a judge of Lava Jato) has no price. He showed the innards of power, "said Bolsonaro, while he considered Moro a" hero of Brazil. " which led Lula to jail a year ago, 58% judged the sentence to be correct in April, which is already less than 50% this month, according to the political atlas. ; former president behind bars, meanwhile, from 33% to 38%.
The attacks on Moro after the news of L & # 39; interception They also helped to demobilize the closed virtual troop around Bolsonaro. "The mobilization of the center-right, which has always been strong, has been abandoned for the first time in a long time," says Roman. "It's a fierce defense of Lava Jato and Moro, but it's a defensive posture and not an attack," he said.
The journalist Glenn Greenwald, of L & # 39; interception, has become the number 1 enemy of President Jair Bolsonaro's voters and is already the target of "grotesque" threats, according to the communicator, since he published the conversational reports between the former judge Sérgio Moro and the coordinator of the # 39; Lava Jato operation, Deltan Dallagnol. "We knew that when we reported on powerful people who make up the Bolsonaro government it would generate a lot of hatred, animosity and threats," Greenwald told France Presse. "We have received some really disgusting, detailed, grotesque graphic threats that are quite disturbing and that we take seriously," he added. The threats – received by e-mail and on social networks – also go to her husband, federal deputy David Miranda, her two adopted children and her mother-in-law. "We are about to exploit your mother's head," says one of the messages to Miranda, who claimed to have done the same with the assassinated councilor in 2018, Marielle Franco.
The climate of terror is explained. L & # 39; interception He said that only 1% of all the material received from the anonymous source that gave them the message files of the Lava Jato prosecutors and their communication with Sérgio Moro was disclosed. "It's a lot of explosive material to publish," Greenwald said on a radio show on Thursday.
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