(Rio de Janeiro) Tens of thousands of Brazilians demonstrated across the country on Saturday against President Jair Bolsonaro, who is under a preliminary investigation, on suspicion of failing to report a bribery attempt to buy vaccines.
“There are already more than 500,000 people killed by this government as a result of wrong policies, information and lies, and now the absurd corruption scandal around vaccines,” Dr. Patricia de Lima Mendes, 47, a protester in Rio told AFP.
It is the third day of mobilization since the end of May to demand the departure of Mr Bolsonaro, who is blamed for managing the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 500,000 people in a country of 212 million people.
An AFP journalist referred to “Bolsonaro’s genocide” or “this is not denial, this is corruption” or “yes to vaccines”, can we read on banners held at another demonstration that gathered tens of thousands of people in central São Paulo.
In addition to the red T-shirts and flags of unions and social movements, many demonstrators displayed the Brazilian flag, in an attempt to restore the national symbol usually used by supporters of the far-right president.
People have switched from protesting online to protesting in the streets. Ana Claudia Lima, a 32-year-old social worker who took part in the demonstration in São Paulo, told AFP that the recent dismissal request and information (related to the corruption case) contributed to this.
Gatherings were held at the invitation of the opposition in several cities, including Brasilia, Belem (north), Recife (northeast) and Porto Alegre (south), which gathered several thousand people, according to photos published by Brazilian media.
The far-right president is suspected of turning a blind eye to suspicions of corruption reported by a Health Ministry official.
Testifying before the Senate Committee of Inquiry, the official said he had been subjected to “atypical pressure” to agree to import doses of India’s covaxin vaccine, which he considered exaggerated.
And the Brazilian prosecutor announced, on Friday, the opening of a preliminary investigation into the charges against the head of state by three senators who accused him of “evading” in this case.
“The President of the Republic did not take any action after warning that there was a giant corruption network inside the Ministry of Health,” said ICC Vice President Randolph Rodriguez, one of the three senators who appealed to the ICC. Supreme court.
On Wednesday, several opposition parties in the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies submitted a new request to impeach the president.
However, this new order, according to specialists, is unlikely to succeed, but it allows the opposition to increase political pressure on the president.
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